FSU welcomes publication by the Irish Banking and Culture Board of two key surveys on culture and trust in Banks and the Banking sector.

Issued : 17 May 2021


Pressure of work and lack of trust in Banking are issues of concern that need to be addressed.

John O’Connell, General Secretary of the Financial Services Union has welcomed the publication today by the IBCB of two key surveys into the culture and trust in Banks and the Banking sector in Ireland.

A similar survey was carried out by the IBCB in 2018.

Commenting on the results of the report Mr O’Connell stated:

“There are some positive results in the survey which should be recognised but also some challenges that need to be addressed. A 10% increase in positive staff sentiment about their organisations commitment to building a speak- up culture is a welcome development. There is also information which points to increased numbers of staff bringing forward their concerns and being comfortable that they will be acted upon” stated Mr O’Connell.

According to Mr O’Connell pressure of work, long hours, and an inability to switch off are some of the challenges that are highlighted in the survey and are issues of real concern.

“The code of conduct on the right to disconnect needs to be implemented in each of the Banks without delay. The survey results clearly demonstrate that staff are under constant pressure to respond to emails and queries out of normal working hours.”

Commenting on the findings that 43% of the public say their perceptions of Banks has worsened since 2008 Mr O’Connell said:

“The lack of public trust in the Banking sector shows the need for a structured and mature debate about the future direction of the Banking sector in Ireland. The pace of change and the effect that change is having on vulnerable people is contributing to the negative view that the public holds towards the retail Banks.

The lack of consultation on branch closures and the withdrawal of services does little to persuade the public that the culture at the top of the banks is changing. As an example, that they are listening to customers concerns Bank of Ireland should reconsider its proposals to close 88 branches this year. This would send a positive message that the Bank is listening to the concerns expressed by customers and communities across the Country. 


The FSU would also agree with the sentiment expressed by the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank that Banks must be in a position to support the SME sector when covid subsidies end. The best way of achieving this is for the Banks to retain their presence in local communities and communicate directly with small business owners” concluded Mr O’Connell.