AIB Branches – 44 close IT report

AIB closes 44 branches today
AIB is closing 44 of its branches across the country today, in a bid
to reduce costs. AIB is closing 44 of its branches across the country
today, in a bid to reduce costs.

PAMELA NEWENHAM

AIB shut 44 of its branches across the country today in a bid to
reduce costs after reporting a loss of €1.1 billion for the first half
of the year.

The State-controlled bank aims to shut one in four of its branches as
part of efforts to return to profitability by 2014.

The branches closed typically carried out about 20 per cent of the
volume of transactions at other branches, according to AIB chief
executive David Duffy.

The closures will not lead to compulsory redundancies, the bank said,
and EBS branches will not be affected by the move.

The same services will be on offer to customers of closed branches at
90 post offices through the extension of an existing arrangement with
An Post. An Post’s arrangement with AIB dates back a decade.

Customers will be able to make cash and cheque lodgements, withdraw
cash and make credit card payments with the An Post service.

All customer account numbers, cheque books, direct debits, standing
orders, ATM and debit cards and any credit facilities will not be
affected by the closures.

Branches in Rush, Schull, Tarbert, Moate, Waterville, Thomastown,
Baylldehob, Cootehill and Dunboyne are among the branches that were
shut today.

Branches in Kilkee, Buttevant, Corbally, Dunshaughlin, Glin and
Innishannon were also closed.

The move is part of an overall plan to close a total of 67 outlets by
next year. AIB said the mass closure and amalgamation of some branches
followed a review of services and was a bid to return the bank to
viability.

Head of branch banking Denis O’Callaghan said many outlets had seen a
decline in customer visits.

“We have seen a very significant change in the way our customers wish
to do their banking,” said Mr O’Callaghan. “As a result of this, many
of our branches have seen a large decline in customer visits.

“Notwithstanding this, branches will remain an important part of AIB’s
overall distribution strategy and will be complemented by an enhanced
online service.”

To coincide with the closures, AIB launched a community mobile bank
service in 32 locations across Ulster, Munster and Connacht.

Earlier this year, the bank announced plans to lay off 2,500 workers
by the end of 2013 in a bid to save €170 million a year.

Additional reporting: PA