With AIB expected to cull 70 of it’s 270 branches nationwide, there is worry locally that Leitrim will be unable to hold on to the three AIB branches throughout the county.
Hundreds of towns around the country are expected to lose bank branches of AIB, Ulster Bank, Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB and EBS over the next two years. There are currently AIB centres in Manorhamilton, Carrick-on-Shannon and Ballinamore. AIB said last week it was laying off 2,500 people and closing branches, but did not say how many. Both AIB and National Irish Bank have signed deals with An Post to use the State’s 1,100 post offices for lodging cheques and cash.
Concern has been raised over the future of the branch in Ballinamore for a number of years, and this latest revelation will not help calm fears of local staff or customers around the town. In June National Irish Bank announced it was closing it’s Carrick-on-Shannon branch as part of their massive shut down. The closest NIB branch to meet financial advisers face-to-face will now be in Athlone or Letterkenny, those changes will come into force by mid November.
All the main banks have outlined their moves to the Central Bank and the Department of Finance, while some of the plans have also been outlined to unions. No specific branch closures have been released, but Cllr Gordon Hughes said he has asked Fine Gael TD Frank Feighan to speak to the Minister for Finance to get a clearer picture.
The Ballinamore Town Councillor said he understood that AIB will be closing branches that overlap with EBS centres, but they may be looking at branches located close to Post Offices. Cllr Hughes said the closure of AIB in Ballinamore would hurt the town commercially but he said it would also be a huge disruption to elderly people who do not use internet or phone banking.
People living in areas where branches are to close will be encouraged to use telephone and internet banking.
AIB, EBS, Ulster Bank and Permanent TSB had no official comment to make regarding any closures, while Bank of Ireland said it wasn’t planning any closures.