With regard to future banking and financial services in rural Ireland it is clear that the credit unions must lead with regard to becoming a new banking force based on the excellent service that have provided in the past to local communities. Minister Noonan must listen to what the credit unions have to say in this regard because they have a vision for the future that is workable and viable. Personal contact with customers remains a core ethic of the credit unions and this is vital for rural communities going forward. It can be a twin track approach wherby younger people can do their banking with the latest technology and where older people are dealt with on a personal basis and with respect. I would appeal to Minister Noonan to listen to the plans being out forward by credit unions before making any hasty decisions on the future.
The role of local post offices is also crucial in the future of rural financial services. Bobby Kerr has been looking at the post offices situation on behalf of the Government and there is a future role for post offices and credit unions working together. It would mean the survival of the local rural post offices too. All that is needed is some creative thinking. This will be vital for the revival of rural Ireland and the service available to rural communities in the future. We should not be afraid to make brave decisions now, and future generations will thank us for putting together strong structures in the rural financial services sector. I will be including this in my document on rural Ireland which I am working on at the moment and it is a vital issue for all rural communities going forward.