Sinn Féin spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform, Mairéad Farrell TD, has reiterated her call for the Oireachtas Finance Committee to meet following revelations in today’s Irish Independent that the Department of Finance knew of AIB’s plans to strip cash services from 70 branches before that decision became public, yet they did nothing.
Speaking today, Teachta Farrell said:
“I welcome that AIB has reversed their decision. This was the right thing to do. Their decision to make branches cashless was short-sighted and poorly thought out.
“It would have caused major problems for customers in rural areas, including vulnerable people and businesses, by forcing them to travel long distances for basic services.
“The revelations in today’s Irish Independent that the Department of Finance knew about this decision days before it became public and did nothing are extremely damning.
“This flies in the face of what had been said yesterday, and means that the Finance Committee must meet urgently, so that we can establish who knew what and when.
“The government are majority shareholders in AIB and need to assert their role in ensuring banks serve communities. Despite the government’s assertion that they are powerless on these matters, there is a Relationship Framework in place, which allows for intervention.
“Our communities deserve to access services locally and to be treated fairly by these banks and by government. I have again written to the Finance Committee asking that we meet without delay.”