Brendan Smith: Bank employees deserve full union representation at all negotiations

Published on: 13 May 2022

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has called again for the Financial Services Union, as a representative body for employees in all banks, to be recognised as a key stakeholder in all negotiations relating to the exit of the Ulster Bank and KBC from this State. 

In a Dáil question to the Taoiseach on this matter, Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “I ask the Government and Department of Finance to use their influence with the Central Bank to ensure the FSU is at all the relevant negotiations. I am aware the Central Bank is convening talks later this month with the five banks. The FSU, as representative of the employees, should be present at all negotiations critical for a smooth transition during the exit of these banks from the State.”  


The Cavan and Monaghan TD added: “The backdrop to this is one of significant branch closures over the last decade and recent reduction of personnel through redundancy and non-replacement of retiring staff. This means there is huge potential for disruption and so much additional pressure on bank employees.   


“There is a narrative out there about regular contact with key stakeholders, including the Central Bank, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland. An unacceptable omission there is the Financial Services Union, FSU, which is the representative body for bank employees. It is a key stakeholder.”  


In response, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin stated: “On 17 May the Central Bank will meet the leaders of the retail banks at a round-table meeting to discuss their readiness for the migration of accounts from both Ulster Bank and KBC and to ensure all parties prioritise the interests of customers and prospective customers throughout the unprecedented volume of account migration.  


“I will certainly convey to the Minister the Deputy's point on the FSU being a key stakeholder. We will also be insisting the consumer protection code 2012 is adhered to in all aspects and that the code of conduct on the switching of payment accounts with payment service providers is in place to support customers.”