Deputy McGrath was speaking after it was confirmed that Permanent TSB will close four Cork branches at Lapp’s Quay, Mayfield, Cobh and Youghal.
Deputy McGrath commented: “While I acknowledge there is a growing trend of banking moving on-line, customer service needs to remain a priority for the banks. Accessibility for business and personal customers is vital and we need a functioning banking system to ensure this.
“The closure of 16 branches of Permanent TSB nationwide and four in Cork does not help in this regard. I would call on management at Permanent TSB to do their utmost to ensure that there are no compulsory redundancies and full re-training is offered for staff.
“The existing skills of staff at Permanent TSB would be well served in the Irish Financial Services sector not just in Dublin but throughout the country, the bank must provide the best opportunity for their staff to be accommodated elsewhere.
“We all recognise there is a need for banks to reduce costs, but Permanent TSB must consult with staff at every step and provide redeployment options. Great care must be taken to ensure that we don’t have a situation where there are banking black spots, with towns devoid of any bank branches.
“Banks are often the fulcrum of towns and what must not happen is the business communities to suffer and disintegrate as banks downsize and reduce their capacities.”