One-third of Bank of Ireland branches are closing their doors for the final time today.
The bank announced the 88 closures last March, reducing its network across the country 257 locations to 169.
In a statement, the bank said the decision was “not taken lightly” and was made “to better reflect how people are banking today.”
It said a new partnership with An Post will be able to access over-the-counter services, including lodgement and withdrawal at over 900 post offices around the country.
Customers at the branch in Kilcullen, County Kildare said they were disappointed to see it close its doors after around 50 years in the town.
“It’s been here for such a long time,” said one resident. “It is part of the community.”
“We are going to miss them. We have had lovely staff here over the years so we will miss the contact with them. It is a big loss to the town yeah.”
“I am here for the last 40 years,” he said. “Now I will have to travel to Newbridge or Naas to get the cash.
“I am angry. I am mad at them but there is nothing I can do. There are so many people involved in your money now.
“You are online and every transaction you make is watched.”
Bank of Ireland said the branches that are being closing have seen a 60% drop in footfall since 2017.
“Like many other companies with a large number of retail locations, and like banks across the globe, we had to change our branch services to better reflect how people are banking today,” it said.
“Customers have been moving away from cash to cards and digital banking and this has rapidly accelerated in recent years, even before the pandemic.
“Customers are also choosing ‘cashback’ – where they take the opportunity to get cash back in shops when making purchases – and there are also an increasing number of businesses, including taxis, now taking card payments.”
This morning, the Finance Minister told Newstalk that, while the closures are a commercial decision – he knows it’s a difficult day for many customers and staff.