Stock photo.

Another local bank branch closure announced

AIB has announced it is closing its Golden Island branch in Athlone and merging it with its Athlone town branch.

The announcement was made this morning and the change will come into effect on November 19.

It is one of 15 branches being closed and amalgamated nationwide.

The company said there will be no compulsory redundancies and that it will communicate details to customers.

The amalgamations come following what the company described as “a detailed strategic review” due to changes in how customers interact with banks, a trend that has been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

It said the decision to amalgamates the branches comes “following the unrelenting shift in customer preference for digital banking over the last number of years”

It said the vast majority of the branch amalgamations are in urban/suburban locations, mostly in Dublin and Cork and with one exception, the average distance to a receiving branch is 2.2km.

It says with 170 remaining branches it will continue to have the largest branch network in the country.

The company's statement referred to 1.54m daily interactions by customers with its digital app compared to 35,000 daily branch visits.

In 2019, customers visited branches on average 50,000 times a day.  Customers have increased their use of digital wallets in the first half of 2021.  Volumes were up by 85% compared to H1 2020.

The amalgamation will happen on a phased basis, commencing in September and to be completed by December.

AIB provides customers with access to cash services in over 900 An Post offices across the country. There, our customers are able to make cash withdrawals and lodgements using their AIB card, six days a week.  AIB is also in the process of extending its partnership with An Post.

AIB Managing Director Retail Banking, Jim O’Keeffe said: “We remain committed to maintaining a strong presence in the communities we serve throughout Ireland, and we will continue to do so with over 170 branches.  However, inevitably and in line with the evolution of banking and customer needs, we are seeing a requirement to evolve our services to customers.

"We will do everything we can to guide our customers through the transition as we take another step towards ensuring a sustainable future for AIB’s branch network.’’