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Cork’s Duhallow region left without banking service after AIB cash decision

Announcement will lead more people to keep money at home, making them vulnerable to criminaL gangs, local TD Michael Moynihan believes

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The AIB branch in Kanturk is the second banking blow to the town in nine months

The AIB branch in Kanturk is the second banking blow to the town in nine months

The Bank of Ireland branch in Kanturk closed in October of last year - the building remains empty.

The Bank of Ireland branch in Kanturk closed in October of last year - the building remains empty.

The Bank of Ireland branch in Kanturk closed in October of last year - the building remains empty.

The Bank of Ireland branch in Kanturk closed in October of last year - the building remains empty.

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The AIB branch in Kanturk is the second banking blow to the town in nine months

corkman

Duhallow will be left without a functioning banking system if the decision to transform AIB branches in Kanturk and Millstreet to cashless branches goes ahead in October, Cork North West TD Michael Moynihan has said.

The downgrading of the Millstreet and Kanturk branches, along with Mitchelstown is part of a two phase plane by Allied Irish Banks to cut cash services in 70 branches across the country.

The AIB decision which was announced on Tuesday evening follows the closure of the Bank of Ireland branches in Kanturk and Millstreet last year, with services also moving into post offices.

The transformation of AIB branches to cashless means that they will no longer offer cash and cheque services at the counter, or through machines inside the branch.

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ATM services in these branches will also be removed. Banking services will be moved into the nearest branches still offering cash services, as well as nearby post offices.

Deputy Moynihan expressed concern that the AT decision would leave elderly customers and those in remote areas particularly at risk.

“People will be more vulnerable as, I fear, more of them will be keeping cash in their houses.”

Deputy Moynihan said he had written to the Minister for Finance, the Financial Regulator and the Central Bank to make his concerns on the matter clear to them.

IRD Duhallow CEO Maura Walsh, said this announcement was an issue for the entire region.

“For eight banks to close in the county, and a quarter of that to be in our area, I really think it’s a call to action,” she said.

“This is not about Kanturk, and this is where we went wrong with the Bank of Ireland, this is a Duhallow issue. Even with the post offices, I know passing through Castleisland on pension day, there are queues going out the door, it’s the same in Kanturk.

“If you have business lodgements going in there as well – how is that going to work? I’d also be asking what’s left in the bank if it’s cashless and chequeless – do we need it at all, why would you have anyone there?”

“From my perspective it’s very much a generational issue, for the younger generation it’s no problem with being online, tip-tap and away you go, but for my generation and upwards that’s not how it’s done at all.

Sinn Féin candidate for Cork North West, Liadh Ní Riada, said “I am absolutely disgusted at the announcement from AIB to make 70 of their branches cashless. This announcement by AIB is yet another blow for the rural communities of Cork North West.

“The people of Kanturk and Millstreet will have to travel over 30 minutes to the next nearest towns of Charleville and Macroom to access these services. Being both rural towns this will be a struggle for many people with lack of rural transport.”

“How ludicrous it is to have a bank that doesn’t have cash. Small businesses will be greatly affected as well as charities who have to lodge coins and cash. We need to stop this move towards a cashless society,” Ms. Ní Riada added.

Cork East TD James O’Connor has urged the Central Bank to make a statement on the AIB decision to remove cash services from certain branches of the bank, which is part owned by the Government.

The Fianna Fáil TD said the decision would leave some customers with no option except to travel an hour to access cash.

“This is a very unfair move on the elderly in particular, who are increasingly being left behind by digitisation, and who understandably wish to continue carrying out their financial dealings in cash and in person.

“I have seen first-hand in Youghal, Cobh and Mitchelstown, the negative impact bank closures have had on local businesses and vulnerable persons that struggle to use online banking.”

The Cork East TD continued: “Many businesses regularly tell me that a strong proportion of customers over 60 maintain use of cash for purchasing household items and services. Today’s news from AIB will have an impact on main streets across the length and breadth of rural Ireland.

“With the withdrawal of two retail banks from the country in Ulster Bank and KBC, this action from AIB could be seen to add further weight to the view that retail banks in Ireland lack respect for their customers and staff.

“AIB should inform impacted customers of the location of their nearest Post Office in order to help them avail of cash services locally.”

Deputy O’Connor added: “I will be contacting the relevant stakeholders and working to ensure those impacted are not left behind and get the support they deserve and need.”


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