The lack of banking facilities in rural post offices is expected to be a major talking point when local Fine Gael TD Tom Hayes meets with senior AIB officials today (Thursday) in his capacity as Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications. In the recent past Deputy Hayes has expressed his frustration that the services available in post offices vary significantly between urban and rural areas. This meeting is the latest in a series of discussions as Deputy Hayes aims to put forward a number of suggestions on how to reform the Irish postal service.
“At the moment we’re seeing a number of banks, including AIB, closing down branches all over the country. While I understand the need for banks to reduce their costs, this will have a disproportional impact on rural communities where bank branches are few and far between. This will mean that people living and working in rural Ireland will have further and further to travel to conduct their banking. This isn’t just inconvenient but it’s also bad for business” Tom Hayes said.
Meeting with the Deputy will be AIB Chief Executive David Duffy and AIB Head of Branch Banking Denis O’Callaghan.
“Despite extensive advertising by An Post of the banking services available at your local Post Office, these services are not available in a number of rural locations. This is despite the fact that the technology needed to provide these facilities is readily available. It is my belief that these services can and should be rolled out across the board and I am keen to hear what AIB have to say on the matter.
“We have a real opportunity in this country to improve the level of services available to rural communities while also securing a safe and sustainable future for the Irish Post Office. The expansion of banking services in post offices is one of the most achievable reforms we can make and I am determined to do what I can to see that expansion happen” Tom Hayes said.