Leader of the Fianna Fáil group on South Dublin County Council John Lahart has demanded action from the Government to keep the two AIB branches in Templeogue and Terenure open.
The Fianna Fáil Councillor was commenting after AIB last week announced plans to shut down 67 branches nationwide, including those in Templeogue and Terenure. The bank also confirmed a hike in its standard mortgage rates of 0.5% to 3.5%.
Cllr Lahart said the closure of these two busy Dublin 6 banks will have a serious impact on the local economy, and will cause great distress to customers who will be forced to travel elsewhere to do their banking.
“This will come as a shock to staff, customers and local businesses. These bank branches have been a pivotal part of the local village communities in Templeogue and Terenure for years. Pulling such an important service from these two villages will certainly have an impact on the local economy as customers will be forced to travel elsewhere,” said Cllr Lahart.
“While I recognise that there is a growing trend of online banking, customer service must remain a top priority for banks. Many of AIB’s customers are simply not in a position to use internet banking or to travel considerable distances to other branches.
“In addition to this, AIB is putting even more pressure on mortgage holders by hiking its standard rates by 0.5%. This is totally unacceptable at a time when the Europen Central Bank (ECB) rate is at its lowest level ever. It means that for anyone with a mortgage of €300,000 this amounts to an extra €90 a month. To hit mortgage holders with this, at a time when so many are already in serious difficulty, is a disgrace.
“Let us not forget that AIB is owned by the State. And yet, our local Government Ministers Pat Rabbitte and Brian Hayes have stayed completely silent on AIB’s announcement. The Government has the power to intervene here to ensure that AIB’s customers no longer have to pay for the mistakes the bank have made. I’m urging Ministers Rabbitte and Hayes to stand up for their constituents and fight to keep our two local branches open. The Ministers must also insist that AIB passes on the latest ECB interest rate cut to its mortgage customers,” said Cllr Lahart.