Bank of Ireland need to rethink branch closures says FSU.

Issued : 16 February 2021

Bank of Ireland need to rethink branch closures says FSU.

Central Bank Governor needs to issue a strong statement in support of the branch network and against any possible branch closures from any Bank.

The Financial Services Union (FSU) has described recent media reports that Bank of Ireland is reviewing its entire branch structure in the Republic of Ireland as a slap in the face for staff, loyal customers, and Government.

Different media outlets have reported that Bank of Ireland will announce the results of a review of its branch network on the 1st of March and that branch closures in the Republic of Ireland are a real possibility.

Commenting on the speculation John O’Connell, General Secretary of the FSU said.

“The idea that Bank of Ireland would announce branch closures during a pandemic shows a complete disregard for staff, bank customers and Government policy. I spoke with the Bank last week looking for a timetable to reopen branches that are only partially open at the moment. The Bank gave no indication at that meeting that branch closures in the Republic was a possibility. The Bank cannot act in bad faith and withhold information from staff and customers. Taking advantage of the pandemic to close branches flies in the face of government policy of sustaining business in communities and the SME sector. Punishing communities for adhering to Government regulations is totally outrageous”.

“The FSU have written agreements with the Bank on the branch network, and we expect the Bank to honour them. If not, we will have no choice but to utilise all the industrial relation mechanisms of the state.”

“The Minister for Finance, as a significant shareholder and the Central Bank Governor need to urgently intervene and make it clear that all branch closures should be off the table for at least the next two years. The UK regulator recently issued a direct call to Banks in the UK that they should not close branches now as it will affect the most vulnerable in society more than anyone else. We call on the Central Bank Governor to issue a strong statement in support of the branch network and against any possible branch closures from any Bank”.

“Using Covid-19 as cover to close branches shows an absolute lack of understanding of what people are going through from the Bank and shows zero empathy for staff, customers and local communities across this Country” concluded Mr O’Connell.

ENDS

 

Contact: Brian McDowell, Head of Communications and Public Affairs, FSU. Tel: 087-9161225. Email: [email protected].

 

 

About FSU: The FSU is Ireland’s leading union across banking and finance. We represent thousands of staff across the main retail banks, and we have members in more than 70 companies across the finance and fintech sectors. Our members are spread across the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Great Britain. We are headquartered in Dublin and we also have a presence in Belfast. We are members of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and UNI Global finance union.