The news today that the Bank of Ireland are to restrict cash withdrawls at bank branches to amounts over 700 Euro is another indication that the main banks have abandoned their small customers. It is obvious that these banks, and Bank of Ireland in particular are not interested in dealing with customers face to face any more. Despite what their TV adds might say, customer service in the banks is a thing of the past. Elderly people in particular, who have been used to dealing in small amounts of cash all their lives, will be severely affected by this latest move which shows total disregard for customers, and is merely a cost saving exercise and nothing else. In recent years the banks have persisted in attempting to get elderly people to do their banking online when many of those people have never used a computer in their lives.It is a gross insult to people who supported these institutions all their lives in many cases. This latest move from the Bank of Ireland will be the last straw for many people.
This situation once again highlights the urgent need for an enhanced role for credit unions especially in rural Ireland. It is now clear that the main banks couldn’t care less about it’s customers and it is time that the Minister for Finance reviewed the role of the credit unions with regard to money transfers, payments, mortgages and other services. It is a matter that I will be raising once again as a matter of urgency at the earliest possible opportunity.