It’s being claimed that the future economic life of rural Ireland will be under threat following Bank of Ireland’s decision to removal counter staff from 100 branches across the country.
The partial state-owned bank confirmed that the decision to remove staff from the counter in over a dozen bank branches across this region by the end of the year.
BOI Customers will still be able to lodge and withdraw money from self-service machines, but won’t be able to take out more than 13-hundred euro or deal with foreign currency.
Seamus Boland, of Irish Rural Link, claims the decision is another hammer blow for rural communities who have already seen their post offices come under threat
Roscommon-Galway TD Eugene Murphy has criticised the decision:
A Bank of Ireland statement this afternoon has outlined their plans for the branches in this region :
Ballymote, Drumshanbo, Elphin, Manorhamilton, Mohill, Strokestown and Tubbercurry branches are adopting the ‘Advice & Self Service’ model which is already in place in some locations nationwide. Advice & Self Service branches continue to provide customers with a comprehensive range of products and services, access to online and 365 phone services, the ability to lodge and withdraw cash from easy to use self-service machines. They also enable greater availability of branch staff to provide personalised financial and banking advice. Foreign currency exchange and coin transaction services will no longer be available in these branches.
This change has been very successful in a growing number of our branches, where we have seen an increase in transactions happening in branch through the enhanced availability of self-service options.
Ballaghaderreen, Boyle and Castlerea branches are moving to a five day ‘morning-only counter service’, with staff available on the floor for the afternoon. Our staff will be available on the floor to assist customers to use the available in-branch services and advise on products such as mortgages, investments, and insurance.
We also have a dedicated ‘Digi Arrows’ team providing additional support for customers in the use of our digital and self-service options – last year alone, 30,000 customers attended a ‘Tea and Teach’ session.