People feel bank closures will be ‘detrimental’ to communities, research finds

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People Feel Bank Closures Will Be ‘Detrimental’ To Communities, Research Finds People Feel Bank Closures Will Be ‘Detrimental’ To Communities, Research Finds
Survey respondents cited concerns over a reduction in personal, face-to-face service, and job losses within communities. Photo: PA Images
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Following recent announcements that Ulster Bank and KBC will withdrawing from the retail banking sector here, new research has found people feel bank closures will be ‘detrimental’ to communities.

According to a survey carried out by Peopl Insurance, 82 per cent of people think bank closures around the country will have a detrimental effect on customers and communities.

Survey respondents cited concerns over a reduction in personal, face-to-face service, and job losses within communities.

Meanwhile, four in 1o people said they intend to switch their banking provider if their local branch closes.

Just 12 per cent of women and 24 per cent of men think bank closures are a good thing, seeing them as a positive sign of advancements in technology.

Commenting on the survey findings, Paul Walsh, CEO of peopl.ie noted recent notices to Ulster Bank and KBC customers alerting them of the timeframe in which they have to switch their accounts to a new bank.

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“Both banks, particularly KBC, have been receiving some heat from the Central Bank of late because of their behaviour towards customers in terms of closing bank accounts before a certain deadline,” Mr Walsh said.

“While the banks have been forced to soften their approach, the fact remains that hundreds of thousands of customers will be inconvenienced, at the very least, as a result of these closures.

“In addition to the bank closures themselves, over the last couple of years we have witnessed a widespread movement towards branch closures by banking institutions that are still very much active in the country.

“Last year, Bank of Ireland closed more than one third of its branches nationwide with the closure of 88 branches.

“Our survey indicates that, whether or not people have yet to be directly impacted by these developments, there is resounding concern amongst the general public over the knock-on consequences of these closures on communities around the country, with 82 per cent agreeing that the withdrawal of local branches holds little reward for consumers or communities.”

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