Bank of Ireland has said that no location will be left without access to financial services or cash facilities after its decision to close 103 branches in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The bank said the branches that are closing are predominately self-service locations that do not offer a counter service.
The branches are due to close from the end of September.
As a result of the closures, the bank’s branch network in the Republic of Ireland will be reduced by 88, leaving 169, while 15 Northern Ireland branches will close, leaving 13.
The majority of ATMs will not be retained where a branch closes.
But Bank of Ireland said there are a few locations where there is no alternative ATM available locally and it will maintain an ATM in those areas.
It said that in four in five of the closing branches there is no counter service, coin service is not provided and lodgement and withdrawal are only available through devices.
Lodgement and withdrawal of cash, cheque and coin will be available through our partnership with An Post in post offices across the country.
More than 95% of the transactions that take place at the branches due to close can be done at a local post office, Bank of Ireland said.
Customers will now have a counter service and longer opening hours through the post office for these services, it added.
Meanwhile, the chief executive of ISME said that being forced to travel long distances to lodge cash is going to be problematic for those businesses who are forced to deal in cash.
Neil McDonnell said there are various sectors in the market where “tap and go” and online banking are not going to be a substitute fo cash.
He told Morning Ireland that night safes will be critical for hospitality and pub businesses who take a lot of cash at night time. He said the absence of a night safe would severely impact those businesses.
Mr McDonnell said the cost of banking in Ireland is very significant and many businesses pay in excess of €5,000 a year in charges and the cost of handling cash is particularly significant.
A typical charge for customers lodging cash is €80 per €1,000 lodged – almost a 1% charge – he added.
He said the Irish banking society is becoming critically concentrated on two pillar banks.