I welcome the announcement that AIB is to reverse its decision to move to cashless branches at 70 locations across the country. The decision, which was set to have impacted services in Tullow, will not now go ahead after significant public and political pressure on the bank to reverse its decision.
Communities and small towns rely heavily on these services, and the decision to move to cashless branches would have impacted older people and small businesses in particular. I had many constituents from Tullow reach out to me to tell me that they were facing a 16 km journey to Carlow Town to access cash services, an unacceptable position in my view.
We may be moving to a cashless society, and the pandemic has accelerated that move, but we’re not there yet. Pushing in that direction before people are ready for it, and I’m thinking of vulnerable people in particular, older people and people on lower fixed incomes, is not the level of customer service I would expect from one of our pillar banks.