AIB is to provide a mobile banking service in a West Cork peninsula to compensate for next October’s planned closure of two of its branches.
The bank said it is willing to talk with community representatives in the Mizen peninsula to discuss appropriate times and stops for the mobile service which will be introduced as soon as the branches in Ballydehob and Schull shut down.
A spokeswoman said the closures were a regrettable but necessary step required to help return AIB to viability and provide a return to the taxpayer.
AIB insisted An Post offices in both villages would be able to take over all transactions, including cash withdrawals of up to €600 a day, cheque lodgements and AIB credit card bill payments.
She pointed out An Post offered longer opening hours than are currently available at the AIB sub offices in Ballydehob and Schull.
“The Ballydehob sub office opens on Fridays only from 10.30am to 3pm, excluding lunch and Schull is open Mondays to Fridays from 10am to 4pm.
“The post offices open from 9am to 5.30pm excluding lunch on weekdays and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays,” the spokeswoman said.
AIB was responding to criticism voiced by locals that it was virtually withdrawing from the peninsula and in particular leaving a large elderly population out on a limb.
The bank also said the proposed mobile banking service would deal with cash and coin lodgements, cheque lodgements, cash withdrawals, bill payment and foreign exchange orders and collection services.
The bank also intends to retain its ATM facilities at Brosnan’s supermarket in Schull.
Denis O’Callaghan, AIB head of branch banking, said the bank was taking steps to minimise any inconvenience for customers, particularly those living in rural locations and senior citizens.
“Our regional director and local branch managers are happy to meet with representatives of the local communities to discuss and outline in more detail the range of alternative banking services that will be available,” Mr O’Callaghan said.
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