Temporary BOI branch closures must not lead to permanent closure or downgrade of services – Fleming

Published on: 05 June 2020

Fianna Fáil TD for Laois-Offaly, Sean Fleming has called on Bank of Ireland (BoI) to give assurances that their branches in Durrow and Rathdowney, which were temporarily closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, will be reopened as soon as it is safe to do so.

Deputy Fleming made the call as it was announced that the phased reopening of the country will be accelerated with almost all restrictions to be lifted by July 20th.

Deputy Fleming said it was important that Bank of Ireland give certainty that the branches shut during the public health emergency will reopen in line with social distancing guidelines.

He said, “I am raising these concerns as Bank of Ireland, when contacted on this matter, gave a non-committal response.

“Banking services are so important to towns and villages across Laois, particularly now that moves are being made to accelerate the reopening of shops and certain businesses.

“I know that local people have worked around the current arrangements, but withdrawal and lodgement facilities are obviously crucial to communities and serious issues can arise when the ATMs run out of cash or are out of service.

“There is a growing unease among the local community that these temporary closures could be used as a means of closing the branches permanently as part of a larger restructuring plan within the bank. This must be avoided at all costs and I would like Bank of Ireland to come clear on this issue.