FINE Gael Cork North Central Deputy, Dara Murphy, has written to AIB and Permanent TSB following an announcement by both banks that they are to close their Mayfield branch, calling for the decision to be reviewed.
“Rationalisation of branch networks is part and parcel of cost saving measures which are being embarked on by all banks these days as part of radical restructuring programmes. However, it appears that in some instances, decisions are being made in complete isolation, with no consideration being given to the broader picture.
“Last week, both AIB and PTSB announced branch closures in Mayfield, which is one of the largest suburbs on the northside of Cork city, within 48 hours of each other. While it is unrealistic to think that banks can communicate with each other in advance of such far-reaching announcements, the fact remains that neither Ulster Bank nor Bank of Ireland have a presence in Mayfield and now AIB and PTSB are set to cease operations in the town.
“If both of these decisions go ahead, we will arrive at a point where the people of Mayfield will be left without a bank, which is completely unacceptable.
“I have written to both AIB and PTSB informing them of the current situation and calling on both to reconsider their plans for closure. It may be the case that the decision of one of the banks to close its Mayfield branch was a marginal one, which could easily be reversed. From speaking to people on the ground there is definitely a feeling that if either bank was to remain in the area there would be significant goodwill towards that bank.
“If, on the other hand, these decisions are found to be irreversible, an opportunity would exist for either Ulster Bank or Bank of Ireland to open in the area. Despite the fact that much banking is now done online, people still like to go into their branch at certain times. The fact that both AIB and PTSB’s main competitor in Mayfield are shutting up shop make little or no sense and I am calling on both banks to look again their plans and to reconsider this decision.”