Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath has said he is disappointed to hear that ACC Bank is cutting 180 jobs and taking itself out of the current account and deposit market.

Deputy McGrath said: “My first thoughts today are with the staff who will be affected by this decision.  I am urging the Government to work with the staff concerned to ensure there are alternative training options and appropriate financial support for workers.  It’s a source of great frustration for domestic customers and businesses that the banking sector is still not functioning, five years into the crisis.  We have a shrinking banking sector and less and less competition.

“ACC’s decision to effectively withdraw from day to day banking in Ireland and focus on debt recovery highlights a number of serious issues the Government is failing to address.  The Government has failed to bring forward any measures to bolster competition in banking or attract new operators into the country in a bid to shake-up the market place.  The opposite is the case, we have a market that’s getting smaller and smaller which is bad for business and bad for the economy.

“I am also very concerned about the increased outsourcing of debt recovery work on behalf of financial institutions.  The lack of reputation management on the part of a bank leaving the country means they are likely to take on a more aggressive approached with borrowers.  For instance, the detailed resolution process now in place for mortgage holders is not in place for SME borrowers or for farmers and I am concerned more lenders will feel they can tighten the screws on these customers.”