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Withdrawal of Banking Services from Local Communities

Posted on: 22 Jul 2022

The Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) notes the announcement earlier this week by AIB of the withdrawal of cash services from 70 of its branches across the country.
This follows announcements last year of the closure of a number of bank branches, together with the withdrawal of Ulster Bank and KBC from the Irish market.
Commentating on the announcement, David Malone, Chief Executive Officer, ILCU said,
“Credit unions, as member-owned, community based, not-for profit financial institutions are ideally positioned to support impacted communities and to play an enhanced role in providing a wider range of services and supports to consumers and SMEs throughout Ireland. While credit unions continue to ‘digitise’ their services, there is a clear understanding of the importance of retaining ‘face-to-face’ engagement and in delivering the unrivalled member service which credit unions are famous for”.
Mr. Malone continued,
“With the roll-out of current accounts and mortgages in many credit unions across the country, credit unions are already beginning to fill the void left by departing banks. However, for credit unions to bring additional services to the retail banking sector, credit unions need a level playing field and a more flexible, enabling legislative and regulatory framework”.
“The ILCU, working with other credit union stakeholders, has contributed to the Retail Banking Review submission, which is being conducted by the Department of Finance. We believe that this review is now even more critical, given the continued withdrawal of banking services from local communities”.
“It is imperative that credit unions’ essential role in Ireland’s socioeconomic fabric must not only be protected but unleashed to its fullest potential. We stand ready to play our part in unlocking this potential”.