As Ulster Bank closes its remaining 63 branches and ATM services in the State, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has called for measures to protect access to cash and branch services.
Speaking today Teachta Doherty said:
“Today’s closure of Ulster Bank’s 63 remaining branches and ATM services is a sad day for communities and small businesses.
“It is a blow to the Irish banking sector.
“It is crucial that Ulster Bank and receiving banks support customers who are in the process of switching their banking services to new providers.
“Today also underlines the need for measures to protect access to cash and branch services.
“In recent years we have seen banks remove and run-down branch and cash services.
“Access to cash is crucial for citizens, business and communities.
“Reduced access to cash risk further financial exclusion and is particularly damaging to elderly and low-income groups.
“We now need legislation to protect access to cash, as has been done in Sweden and Britain, and Sinn Féin are working on legislation to make this a reality.
“Access to branch services also remains critical to communities and business.
“There is scope and a need to strengthen the Central Bank’s Consumer Protection Code with respect to branch services, and Sinn Féin will be outlining our proposals to the regulator as part of its public consultation on the Consumer Protection Code later in the year.”