There is deep anger in Ballaghaderreen and Boyle following the shock news in recent days that the AIB Bank branches in both towns are to close with effect from 12th of October 2012 as part of a nationwide rationalisation plan that will see 51 branches close down around the country.
AIB Bank has said that to ensure that the bank delivers a return to the Irish taxpayer they are embarking an extensive reorganisation and cost reduction programme.
The bank says that as an alternative customers affected can do their business through the local Post Office branches and that there will be a mobile bank service in some of the affected areas. Customers of the bank who are affected and who want to use AIB, will have to travel to Castlerea or Carrick-on-Shannon.
There are 10 staff employed between the branches in Boyle and Ballaghaderreen and there will be no redundancies, according to the bank. Staff will be redeployed to nearby branches. News of the closures has been strongly criticised by local politicians and community leaders.
The decision by AIB to close its branches in Ballaghaderreen and Boyle, as well as branches in Ballyhaunis and Charlestown will be a major blow to both staff and to the commercial activity of the towns affected, claims Denis Naughten TD.
As a result of the decision by the state-owned bank, a whole swath of mid Connacht from Ballyhaunis through to Ballaghaderreen, and Charlestown through to the town of Boyle are now left without a major player in the banking sector.
“This will without doubt have an impact on the commercial life of these towns, and reduce the level of competition within the backing sector locally. And to add to the financial pressures faced by its customers it plans to increase interest rates when the European Central Bank is reducing interest rates that it is charging the banks in the first place,” stated Deputy Naughten.
“It will also have a significant impact on staff all of whom will be forced to move out of the local area where they have built up relationships with customers or be forced to take the redundancy package which is on offer,” he concluded.
Issue dated: 03 August 2012
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