AIB’s decision to go cashless at over 40% of its branches is just the latest example of Irish banks “screwing us over”, according to Kieran Cuddihy.
The bank yesterday said it was removing all cash, ATM and cheque services from 70 of its 170 branches around the country.
It said the branches will instead focus on account opening, financial planning, mortgages, loans, savings and investments.
Meanwhile, the bank is extending its relationship with An Post to allow customers access cash and cheque services at Irish post offices.
Speaking on The Hard Shoulder this evening, presenter Kieran Cuddihy said the banks have been “screwing us over time and time again” – even though the Irish taxpayer bailed them out during the crash.
"Enough is enough"
“When are we going to say enough is enough in this country when it comes to the banks screwing us over?” he asked.
“Because that’s what they’re doing and they do it time and time again. They came with a begging bowl in their hands during the crash; they got bailed out with taxpayers’ money, and how do they thank us?
“They thank us by closing branches to boost their bottom line, they thank us by charging us the highest interest rates in all of Europe, they thank us by abandoning customers when they flee the market and now this, the latest arrow they fling in our direction.”
On Lunchtime Live this afternoon, Andrea Gilligan heard form a Donegal business owner who said it used to take him 30 seconds to visit the bank.
When the latest AIB changes come in, he will be faced with a two-hour round trip twice a week to access the services he needs.
They'll do nothing
Kieran said the worst thing about the latest developments is that "our political leaders will do absolutely nothing about it”.
“We can’t interfere, that will be the mantra we hear from politicians, including Paschal Donohoe I’m sure,” he said.
“No problem interfering when it came to imposing salary caps on the banks, but, apparently, this type of interference … oh no, they can’t possibly interfere here.
“What they’re effectively saying is listen, this is kind of frowned upon but we’re going to let the banks do it.
“The banks act with absolute impunity and like I say they screw us over time and time again and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
On The Pat Kenny Show earlier, Kerry TD Michael Healy Rae said the AIB decision was a “devastating blow” for rural Ireland.
Meanwhile, several other opposition parties have criticised the move.