By Dan Walsh
Wexford’s Sinn Féin Deputy Johnny Mythen has described today’s announcement of Bank of Ireland branch closures in Taghmon and Rosslare Harbour as the wrong decision at the worst possible time for customers and staff.
Deputy Mythen said; “Bank of Ireland closing over a third of its branches in the south and more than half of its branches in the north from September is the wrong decision. This comes in the teeth of a global pandemic and less than two weeks after Ulster Bank announced its withdrawal from the southern market. It is a huge blow for customers and staff.”
“Bank of Ireland has attempted to justify this announcement based on a fall in branch visits over the past twelve months. This is hardly surprising given the entire population had its movements significantly restricted in response to a public health emergency. In reality, the bank is using Covid-19 for cover, punishing customers for following public health regulations. This is not just a cynical move, but a slap in the face that will hurt customers, staff and communities.”
Deputy Mythen said he will be writing to the CEO of Bank of Ireland, the Minister for Finance and the Governor of the Central Bank in light of today’s announcement.
“The Minister is a major shareholder in Bank of Ireland, while the Governor is charged with consumer protection. They have a responsibility to do all they can to put the interests of customers and communities first. The taxpayer poured €4.7 billion into Bank of Ireland during the financial crisis – the least the Irish people deserve from the bank is respect,” he concluded.