FSU welcome publication of Finance Committee report on Banking
18 January 2023
Report shows the importance of continued stakeholder engagement in a rapidly changing sector
The publication by the Joint Committee on Finance Public Expenditure and Reform and Taoiseach of their findings into the rapidly changing banking sector has been welcomed by the Financial Services Union (FSU). The FSU were one of the key stakeholders who met with the Committee during their deliberations on the banking sector.
Commenting on the publication of the report John O’Connell, General Secretary of the FSU said:
“The FSU were delighted to get the opportunity to meet directly with the Committee and represent the voice of staff and consumers in a sector which is still over reliant on the demands of shareholders.
We particularly welcome the recommendations on staffing levels and the recommendation that appropriate measures should be taken to address “the negative impact that uncertainty and precarity has had on staff”
Access to cash, additional support for vulnerable customers and concerns expressed by the Committee over the handling by the main banks of the process to deal with the exits of Ulster Bank and KBC are concerns shared by the FSU and ones that we have highlighted for the last number of months.
Better transparency in the process and an announcement by Ulster Bank of realistic timeframes for exit would inspire confidence that the culture in the banks has started to change.
The FSU again call on Ulster Bank to officially extend their timeline for exit until at least the end of August 2023 which would coincide with the timelines set by KBC for their exit. This will help assist those people who have yet to take action on their accounts and give the sector a better opportunity to provide for an orderly exit of both Ulster Bank and KBC.
The issue of variable pay for low- and middle-income staff is covered in the report. It is the strong contention of the FSU that ordinary bank staff in the three banks covered by these restrictions should be entitled to help with healthcare, childcare and other benefits which are widely available to others in the sector. The three main Banks have a real opportunity to show politicians and consumers that culture has changed in the Banks by ensuring that low- and middle-income staff working in the Banks on starting rates of €26,000 are justifiably rewarded for their professionalism and dedication in providing a consumer-friendly service.
The publication of this report shows the importance of real stakeholder engagement. The requirement for a detailed and transparent implementation plan to supplement the report cannot be overstated
The FSU reiterates its call for a banking forum similar to the retail forum to be established which would have the implementation of the Committees report and the report of the Banking review as its main objectives.”
Download or read the report of the Joint Committee on Finance Public Expenditure and Reform and Taoiseach here: https://www.fsunion.org/assets/files/pdf/report-on-banking-2022.pdf