Fianna Fáil Press Office
Cllr Cormac Devlin
Candidate for Dun Laoghaire
04 November 2015
Devlin warns of security risk for older people from proposed Bank of Ireland rule change
Fianna Fáil candidate for Dun Laoghaire Cllr Cormac Devlin has warned that new measures being introduced by Bank of Ireland for in-branch banking are retrograde and pose potential security risks for older people and disabled people.
“Bank of Ireland’s decision to impose minimum withdrawals and lodgements for personal and business customers will force customers to use ATMs unless they are withdrawing more than €700 or lodging over €3,000 before they can avail of over the counter transactions.
Cllr Devlin commented, “This regressive decision will have a major impact on personal and business customers in Dun Laoghaire which has the oldest population in the country. Communities here have already seen the erosion of services over the past few years with cuts to schools, the closure of Garda stations and Post Offices as well as the banks themselves closing branches. Now Bank of Ireland wants to impose new restrictions on their customers to limit the services to which they are entitled.
“Over the past number of years we have seen a steady increase in bank charges, while at the same time customers were being encouraged to switch over to online and paperless banking. These new restrictions are effectively cutting out personal banking and forcing people to adapt to in-branch or ATM technology. It begs the question, what are people paying fees for?
“These changes could pose major security issues for older people, who are less likely to be computer literate. Many may be reluctant to adapt to this new way of banking and may revert to keeping money at home rather than lodging it in their local branch. With concerns about rising crime levels, people may feel as if they are stuck between a rock and a hard place with regard to where they can keep their cash. There is also the issue of services for the disabled. They will be even more vulnerable at ATMs.
“Bank of Ireland needs to seriously reconsider this decision. It is anti-business and anti-community and it penalises loyal customers. Bank of Ireland has a duty to provide a quality service to its customers but these new measures will make life more difficult for business and personal customers alike”.
“This is extremely short-sighted and is a further erosion of services. Bank of Ireland is now trying to remove one of its last remaining personal services – over the counter banking. Having already introduced cashless and paperless banking, it now appears as if it wants to go down the road of removing personal banking.
“While I understand the efficiencies that come with a modern banking service, Bank of Ireland should not be forcing through these decisions, at the expense of customers, particularly those who are elderly.
“This decision will remove the personal touch from their banking services. People like doing business with people they know and trust and now that that personal touch is being removed customers may feel less inclined to continue to bank there. More efforts should be made to protect this way of life, rather than trying to centralise services or move them online. These decisions are destroying the fabric of our society and it’s time for the decision makers to realise that economic cost savings should not come at the expense of Irish social life”.