C: William Murphy via Wikimedia under CC 3.0

Rural TDs say government owns AIB: should stop move to cashless bank 

Rural TDs have said that the government is “completely complicit” in what they describe as “allowing State-owned AIB to make 70 of its 170 bank branches cashless” saying that this “further hollows out rural communities, undermines social inclusion, and endangers vulnerable customers to the risks of online banking abuse.”

Leader of the Rural Independents Mattie McGrath said that it was “deplorable that Paschal Donoghue and his government are completely silent and complicit in allowing AIB to remove all cash services from branches in towns across the country from as soon as September.”

“It illustrates the government’s lack of support for a rural banking model. In turn, this means Ireland will be left without a functioning retail banking network unless policies change to ensure the banking sector is properly regulated and controlled. Thus, this deliberate action cannot go unanswered,” he said, calling for the Dáil to be recalled to debate these issues.

“This latest downgrading – the refusal of cash and cheques at 70 branches – represents further reductions in rural banking services. This action will likely lead to the closure of those branches soon.”

“The withdrawal of cash services, by a predominantly government-owned bank (63.5%), is another kick in the teeth to rural communities. While many consumers use cashless payments, others still prefer to use cash for all transactions, many of whom  have zero access to digital money.”

“Even the Central Bank acknowledges that cash remains crucial for both economic functions and social inclusion.  Yet, the top brass bankers and the Minister for Finance ignore this, giving rural towns and the socially vulnerable, such as elderly or lower income groups, the ‘two fingers’”.

“Cash services are also crucial to SMEs and farmers, who rely on depositing cash in banks for security.

“AIB was rescued during the bank bailout by an approximate €21 billion price tag, with taxpayers footing the bill. Instead of  gratitude, the bank ignores the taxpayers and prioritizes profits with the full support of their ‘friend’ the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donoghue.”

“The failure of the government to protect the public’s interests means that AIB alone was allowed to close 75 branches across the State since 2008. Now, the bank is being permitted to effectively close another 70 of its remaining 170 branches.”

“Advice for customers to use the limited services available through the post office is completely misleading, as the An Post network faces its own ongoing contraction, also due to government failure.”

“It is incredibly selfish of AIB to proceed with this latest downgrading, at a time when it is vying for some of the one million new customers available because of  KBC and Ulster Bank’s withdrawals.”

“Minister Donohue ignored our calls earlier this year for a fully frank Dáil debate on the future of AIB and the services it provides. Today, we again call on the Minister to make a public statement on why he is allowing the bank to deliberately decrease rural services.”

“The public deserves transparency and access to banking services. Currently, due to the neglect and scheming actions of the government, the public is being denied both,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

On top of the current 22 cashless branches, the following AIB branches have been announced as part of the program and move to cashless by the bank.


By September 30:

  • Abbeyfeale Co. Limerick
  • Adare Co. Limerick
  • Athy Co. Carlow
  • Ballinamore Co. Leitrim
  • Ballybofey Co. Donegal
  • Ballyshannon Co. Donegal
  • Birr Co. Offaly
  • Bishopstown Co. Cork
  • Buncrana Co. Donegal
  • Caherciveen Co. Kerry
  • Carndonagh Co. Donegal
  • Carrigaline Co. Cork
  • Castleisland Co. Kerry
  • Castlerea Co. Roscommon
  • Celbridge Co. Kildare
  • Dingle Co. Kerry
  • Dungloe Co. Donegal
  • Edenderry Co. Offaly
  • Ennistymon Co. Clare
  • Glanmire Co. Cork
  • Gorey Co. Wexford
  • Greystones Co. Wicklow
  • Kenmare Co. Kerry
  • Killaloe Co. Clare
  • Killorglin Co. Kerry
  • Killybegs Co. Donegal
  • Kilmallock Co. Limerick
  • Kilrush Co. Clare
  • New Ross Co. Wexford
  • Raheen Co. Limerick
  • Rathdowney Co. Laois
  • Shannon Co. Clare
  • Tubbercurry Co. Sligo
  • Tullow Co. Carlow
  • Western Road Co. Cork
  • Wicklow Co. Wicklow


By October 21:

  • Ardkeen Co. Waterford
  • Athenry Co. Galway
  • Ballinasloe Co. Galway
  • Ballinrobe Co. Mayo
  • Cahir Co. Tipperary
  • Carrickmacross Co. Monaghan
  • Carrick-On-Suir Co. Tipperary
  • Cashel Co. Tipperary
  • Castleblayney Co. Monaghan
  • Catletownbere Co. Cork
  • Claremorris Co. Mayo
  • Clifden Co. Galway
  • Clonskeagh Co. Dublin
  • Cobh Co. Cork
  • Cornelscourt Co. Dublin
  • Dundrum Co. Dublin
  • Dunmanway Co. Cork
  • Gort Co. Galway
  • Kanturk Co. Cork
  • Kells Co. Meath
  • Lismore Co. Waterford
  • Longford Co. Longford
  • Millstreet Co. Cork
  • Mitchelstown Co. Cork
  • Oranmore Co. Galway
  • Rathfarnham Co. Dublin
  • Roscrea Co. Tipperary
  • Salthill Co. Galway
  • Sandymount Co. Dublin
  • Spiddal Co. Galway
  • The Lab Co. Galway
  • Tramore Co. Waterford
  • Youghal Co. Cork
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