Bank for sale but AIB not moving out
The AIB bank in Wexford is up for sale but account holders in the town need not worry that they are about to be left without a branch on their doorsteps.
A spokeswoman for the embattled financial institution confirmed that the building in North Main Street has been put on the market by the people who bought it several years ago in 2007.
The bank has remained on since as tenants paying rent to a UK insurance company under a lease that still has at least nine years left to run.
'We have done with branch closures so Wexford is safe enough,' said a spokeswoman at bank headquarters in Dublin last week. Dublin estate agents CBRE are looking for offers in the order of €2.5 million for the North Main Street landmark which is listed for preservation.
Reports in the financial press have suggested that the current owners are preparing to take a loss on their Wexford investment which was acquired for more than €5 million at the height of the Irish property boom.
However, there is no question of the account holders who use the branch every day being obliged to take any share of the pain.
'There will be no disruption for our customers,' said an AIB spokeswoman who indicated that a sign will be displayed in the bank explaining the situation to the general public. 'This will have no impact on customers or staff.' AIB Bank has a long term lease on the premises, she explained.
The four storey building features on the national inventory of architectural heritage which notes that it was originally intended as a branch office of the Munster and Leinster Bank.
With its imposing stone façade, it has been in use as a bank for as long as anyone in town can remember, though the inventory notes that modernisation has eliminated much of the original interior layout.
It is believed that the annual rent being paid by AIB as tenants is in the order of €214,000. The property is being offered along with the AIB in Kilkenny City, though the two lots may be sold separately.