With Bank of Ireland’s regional banks in Tulla, Kilkee and Miltown Malbay among those currently closed to the public, frustrated locals are raising concerns that these smaller branches could end up staying shuttered long after the pandemic.
Former Clare Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley and Tulla woman Anne McNamara outlined their concerns on Thursday’s Morning Focus.
Statement from Bank of Ireland
“Due to COVID-19 Bank of Ireland has made a number of changes to services to both respond to a significant change in how customers are banking during the pandemic and to support social distancing requirements.
“We have prioritised services at 161 of our larger branches nationwide, and through contact centres and online banking both of which have seen a surge in use over recent months. To safeguard these services we closed 101 mainly smaller locations in March, while continuing to provide an ATM cash withdrawal service where available, moving colleagues to support the larger branches and contact centres. These smaller branches had seen a sharp drop in usage, and the decision also supported social distancing which can be better maintained at our larger locations.
Our focus right now remains on protecting the prioritised services across 161 branches, telephone and online banking. Social distancing requirements remain in place, and there is no clarity as to when they will no longer be required. We’re also continuing to see shifts in customer behaviour towards online banking channels. We therefore cannot be definitive regarding our next steps at this stage however we are closely monitoring all developments.”