Irish Rural Link- – the national network representing the interest of rural communities is disappointed by Bank of Ireland’s announcement that they are restricting cash withdrawals and lodgements in its branches. Customers will no longer be allowed to withdraw cash with a teller unless the amount is more than €700 while the bank has limited cash deposits and cheque lodgements with the assistance of a staff member to amounts over €3,000.
Irish Rural Link believes these restrictions will negatively affect people especially those who don’t have the resources or capacity to use online banking or self service devices. Many rural areas do not have sufficient levels of broadband to access online banking while many people are untrained to use the facilities.
According to Seamus Boland, CEO of Irish Rural Link,the proposed restrictionswill impact hugely on the local community and cause hardship to individuals especially those living in isolated rural areas.
According to Irish Rural Link’s Policy and Communications Officer James Claffey, “IRL reject the argument that internet banking is a replacement largely because of the lack of quality broadband coverage and adequate training.”
IRL continue to call for a rural protocol which outlines steps to be taken before any further services are lost in rural areas rather they be bank closures, bank services, bus services, post offices, schools etc. The protocol would include socio economic analysis and investigate possible alternatives to the loss of services. Key to a rural protocol is early consultation with relevant stakeholders and organisations.
For further information, please contact (anytime):
Seamus Boland (Chief Executive) 0862491153 or James Claffey (Policy and Communication Officer)
About Irish Rural Link:
Irish Rural Link represents the interests of locally based rural groups in disadvantaged and marginalised rural areas by highlighting problems, advocating appropriate policies, sharing experiences and examples of good practice. It has a membership of nearly 500 rural community groups dedicated to sustainable rural development and represents rural communities at a national and international level.