AIB has pulled back on its plan to go cashless at 70 branches around the country.
In a statement, the bank said it recognises "the customer and public unease" the plan has caused.
It said it will now retain it's 170-branch network in its entirety.
In its statement, AIB set out the “dramatic” move towards digital banking use it has seen in recent years.
Among the changes are:
- 9 million daily digital interactions compared with 35,000 customer branch visits.
- A 36% decline in cash withdrawals from ATMs and a 50% fall in cheque usage over the past five years.
- A fall of almost 50% in branch over-the-counter teller transactions – while mobile and online payments have increased by 85% in that same timeframe.
“It was in the context of this evolving banking environment and the opportunity to enhance its long- standing relationship with An Post that AIB took the decision to remove cash services from 70 of its branches,” it said.
“However, recognising the customer and public unease that this has caused, AIB has decided not to proceed with the proposed changes to its bank services.”
The bank said it will now retain its 170-strong branch network in its entirety.
It is still moving forward with the expansion of its relationship with An Post, which offer customers access to cash and cheque services 920 post offices around the country.
On Newstalk Breakfast earlier, Rose Mary McDonagh from the Irish Farmers’ Association said the bank was abandoning farming and rural customers with the cashless plan.
Meanwhile, Ned O’Hara of The Postmasters Union said he welcomed the extra responsibility for post offices – but recognised the effect of the closures on communities and bank staff.
Meanwhile, the Irish Central Bank said it expected banks to ensure services were accessible to vulnerable customers.
Yesterday, the Taoiseach criticised AIB over the plan and he was due to meet with executives to raise his concerns.
The Hard Shoulder presenter Kieran Cuddihy also slammed the plan, noting that Irish banks have been “screwing us over time and time again.”