AIB proposal for 150 redundancies is short sighted

05 July 2024

FSU calls on Minister for Finance, Jack Chambers TD, to immediately re-convene the Banking Forum

John O’Connell, General Secretary of the Financial Services Union, (FSU) has described the announcement by AIB of 150 redundancies as short sighted and called on the new Minister for Finance to immediately re-establish the Banking Forum of relevant stakeholders.

AIB have today announced 150 redundancies over the next three years.

Commenting on the announcement John O’Connell, General Secretary of the FSU said:

“The future of banking is ever changing and because of its importance to the economy it needs to be managed in way that takes account of the requirements of customers, staff, business and communities.

The announcement today by AIB is based solely on their profit margins.  If we continue to let individual banks manage the future of our banking services we will be left with a continual withdrawal of banking services which will result in consumers and businesses suffering the consequences.

There has been no serious dialogue about the emergence of AI in the banking sector and what that might mean for jobs and services. We need an agreed approach to the introduction of AI and banks should retain current services until that agreement is reached.

Continually cutting costs and staff is a short-sighted approach to managing the challenges facing the retail banking sector. We need a stakeholder approach which is inclusive to strategise the best approach to protect and enhance services.

I would call on the new Minister for Finance, Jack Chambers TD, to immediately re-convene the Banking Forum with relevant stakeholders so different voices can be heard on this debate.  The last banking review made 34 recommendations and the ink is hardly dry on the report and staff numbers are being cut.

Customer Service is at the core of the Central Bank of Ireland current consultation process on the Consumer Code of Conduct. It is important that the Central Bank confirm they are satisfied that AIB can deliver on its requirement under the code on services for consumers before any jobs are removed.”

Commenting Billy Barrett, Senior Industrial Relations Officer with the FSU said:

“Staffing levels are already at crisis point in AIB. Reducing staff numbers by 150 will only result in increased anxiety for remaining staff who are already at breaking point.

The FSU have requested additional information from the bank on the areas that might be affected.”