Call For Govt To Ensure Bank Services Are Available In Rural Areas

The Government has been urged to intervene and ensure that cash and banking services are provided in towns and rural areas.

Fianna Fáil made the call as the Ulster Bank branch in Ballyhaunis is due to close on Friday, 08 September, and the loss of cash services in Bank of Ireland branches across Mayo.

Dara Calleary TD said: "Recent decisions by Ulster Bank to close 22 branches across the country and Bank of Ireland removing over the counter services from around 100 outlets is having a huge impact on customers, here in Mayo and right around Ireland.

"The Ulster Bank branch in Ballyhaunis is due to close its doors on Friday leaving its personal and business customers high and dry. Despite the fact the closure is only days away, there are still no details about what mobile services will be delivered to customers in Ballyhaunis and its surrounding areas.

"This closure, combined with the loss of an AIB branch a few years ago, and Bank of Ireland's decision to reduce over the counter and cash services, is a major inconvenience for bank customers.

"Banking services in rural areas are being eroded year on year and there is an urgent need for this situation to be addressed, particularly for people living in rural areas. These cutbacks present an opportunity for the Government to intervene to allocate the powers and resources to our Post Office and Credit Union network to provide the cash services that commercial banks no longer consider important.

"Post Offices need to expand their services to ensure their viability and Credit Unions already have a wealth of financial expertise to cope with providing additional cash facilities. Not only would this proposal breathe life back into these institutions, it would ensure that these essential services are available in every town across the country."


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