– Irish language option being phased out on ATM services –
Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan- Monaghan Niamh Smyth TD has described Bank of Ireland’s decision to withdraw key services from branches across the country as a huge insult to rural residents.
The bank has withdrawn over the counter services from 100 branches as it moves to more technology driven services. This has resulted in changes to cash services and a reduction in other in-branch facilities. Eight branches across Cavan and Monaghan have been affected by the changes to services. Branches in Arva, Cootehill, Kingscourt, Ballybay, Castleblayney and Clones are adopting the “advice and Self Service” Model, with foreign exchange and coin services no longer available in these branches.”
“While the Bailieborough and Carrickmacross branches are moving to a ‘morning only counter service’ model, with staff working on the main floor of the branches to help customers use self-service machines. This is not acceptable. People have come into my office and have told me how they feel services are being diminished on a constant basis in rural Ireland. They have been inconvenienced by this move by Bank of Ireland and feel let down in some cases. Many are now finding that they’re having to travel to other towns to carry out day-to-day banking services.”
Deputy Smyth said, “Farmers regularly expect to withdraw sums greater than their ATM limits to buy cattle and sheep, but as a result of the bank’s downgrading, they will no longer be able to do this. New restrictions on lodgements are also posing problems for businesses in these towns and villages.
“I am also deeply disappointed by the bank’s decision to phase out the Irish language option on its ATM machines. The bank’s announcement that the newer machines, which allow for lodgement and withdrawals, will not offer customers the option of conducting their banking through Irish is symptomatic of the attitude of Bank of Ireland to its customer base.
“These decisions are deeply insulting to people living in rural areas and Irish speakers nationwide. The service cutbacks are a major inconvenience for businesses and farmers in these areas. I am calling on the Ministers for the Gaeltacht and Rural & Community Development to meet the banks urgently to outline their displeasure at these decisions”.