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Bank closures AIB set to close 15 branches by December following strategic review

The State-backed bank said the closures are due to increased customer digital usage and declining branch visits

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(Stock image)

(Stock image)

(Stock image)

AIB is to close 15 branches following a strategic review of its network.

The majority of the branch closures are in urban and suburban locations, mostly in Dublin and Cork. The impacted branches will close by December this year.

The State-backed bank said the closures are due to increased customer digital usage and declining branch visits.

The closure announcement is in contrast to statements from the bank earlier this year that it was “committed to maintaining a strong branch presence in the communities we serve”.

The bank claimed the branches were being amalgamated with other ones.

AIB will retain 170 branches across the country.

Around 100 AIB employees will be impacted by the decision. The bank said there will be no compulsory redundancies and it is communicating with impacted staff.

The move comes a week after AIB said it is to close more than half of its 15 branches in Northern Ireland and take away their ATMs following a strategic review.

Last December it said it was cutting 1,500 jobs and leaving three of its six Dublin head offices.

In a statement on Tuesday AIB said that in a time of negative interest rates and competition from non-traditional lenders, the strategy is another step towards ensuring a future for its branch network.

AIB managing director of Retail Banking, Jim O’Keeffe said: “We remain committed to maintaining a strong presence in the communities we serve throughout Ireland, and we will continue to do so with over 170 branches.”

“However, inevitably and in line with the evolution of banking and customer needs, we are seeing a requirement to evolve our services to customers.”

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He added that customers interacting with the bank’s app more than 1.54 million times a day. Meanwhile, there are 35,000 daily branch visits to AIB banks.

The branches that will close in Dublin include College Road, Donnybrook, Blackrock Road, Sutton, Sandyford, Skerries, Dalkey, and 37/38 O’Connell Street.

The AIB branch in Little Island Cork is amalgamating to Midleton, while AIB at Douglas Court will amalgamate with Douglas Road.

The AIB in Golden Island Shopping Centre in Athlone will amalgamate with Athlone town AIB.

Chairman of the Consumers Association Michael Kilcoyne said the closure move was “appalling”.

“This is an appalling way to treat customers. They have no regard whatsoever for the consumers who made them what they are. And the service from AIB is terrible despite all the money taxpayers put into it.”

Bank of Ireland said in February that it was closing 88 branches in the State and shutting 13 branches in the North. The closure of its branches in the Republic by September will bring its high-street presence down to 169 outlets.

News of AIB branch closures comes after the competition authorities cleared its €138m purchase of Goodbody Stockbrokers.

And this month AIB agreed a deal to buy about €4.2bn of performing corporate and commercial loans from Ulster Bank.

And it is investing €90m in a to form a life and pensions joint venture with Irish Life.

It what is turning out to be a tumultuous year for banking in this country with Ulster Bank closing down, while KBC is expected to confirm soon it is pulling out also.

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