AIB to pull cash services from 70 more branches amid shift to digital banking

UK digital bank Starling says it no longer plans to launch Irish operation

AIB is withdrawing cash services from another 70 of its branches, adding to the 22 outlets across its 170-strong network that have gone cashless in recent years.

“With digital usage soaring, the cost of providing cash services has become increasingly unsustainable,” AIB said in a statement. “As a result, cash, ATM and cheque services will be removed from these branches, but customers will continue to have efficient access to cash in their communities.”

AIB said that the “repurposed” branches will focus more on account opening, financial planning, mortgages, loans, savings and investments. However, customers will be able to withdraw and lodge cash, subject to limits, at any of the State’s 920 post offices, the bank said, adding that the average distance between one of the 70 branches being repurposed and an An Post outlet is less than 350 metres.

Financial Services Union general secretary John O’Connell said AIB’s decision to make most of its branches cashless outlets “reflects a growing disconnect between the value placed by the banks on the requirements of stakeholders compared to the requirements of shareholders”.


Sinn Féin spokesman on finance, Pearse Doherty said the move was “short-sighted at a time when communities were struggling to navigate a rapidly changing banking sector with reduced access to banking services”.

The switch will take effect in the affected branches between September and October. AIB said customers can withdraw up to €1,500 in cash per day from their bank current account at post offices and can lodge up to €5,000 a week in cash. Businesses can lodge up to €50,000 by prior arrangement with the post office, AIB said. All customers can lodge euro cheques to their current account.

The bank also noted that customers will continue to have access to cash in more than 4,000 ATMs nationwide, including third-party machines.

AIB’s chief executive Colin Hunt said in May that the bank was hiring as many as 700 temporary staff to help manage a surge in Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland customers seeking to open current and deposit accounts elsewhere as the foreign-owned lenders retreat from the Irish market. The two departing banks had more than one million customer accounts when they announced last year that they were quitting the market.

Separately, UK digital bank Starling Bank, led by former AIB executive Anne Boden, revealed this week that it had pulled plans to set up an Irish operation and use it as a base to expand elsewhere in the EU. Ms Boden told staff on Monday that an “Irish subsidiary would not deliver the added value we are seeking”.

AIB said it has so far this year opened 207,721 deposit and current accounts in 2022, a 110 per cent increase. Banking sources expect that account movements will peak across the industry around the end of September and early October.

It said it will also complete the hiring of 500 people for digital roles by the end of this year. It is understood that 350 of these positions had been filled by the end of June. Most of the digital roles were flagged in late 2020 when the bank said it was planning to “insource” 400 positions, mainly in information technology.

AIB set out early last year to axe 1,500 of its then 9,200-strong workforce by the end of 2023. That excludes the 333 Goodbody employees who joined the company last year and an estimated 280 Ulster Bank staff transferring with its corporate loan book.

About half of the targeted underlying staff reductions had taken place by the end of last year by way of voluntary redundancies in targeted areas.

The following AIB branches are due to become cashless on September 30th:

Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick

Adare, Co Limerick

Athy, Co Kildare

Baillinamore, Co Leitrim

Ballybofey, Co Donegal

Ballyshannon, Co Donegal

Birr, Co Offaly

Bishopstown, Cork

Buncrana, Co Donegal

Caherciveen, Co Kerry

Cardonagh, Co Donegal

Carrigaline, Co Cork

Castleisland, Co Kerry

Castlerea, Co Roscommon

Celbridge, Co Kildare

Dingle, Co Kerry

Dongloe, Co Donegal

Edenderry, Co Offaly

Ennistymon, Co Clare

Glanmire, Co Cork

Gorey, Co Wexford

Greystones, Co Wicklow

Kenmare, Co Kerry

Killaloe, Co Clare

Killorglin, Co Kerry

Killybegs, Co Donegal

Kilmallock, Co Limerick

Kilrush, Co Clare

New Ross, Co Wexford

Raheen, Limerick

Rathdowney, Co Laois

Shannon, Co Clare

Tubbercurry, Co Sligo

Tullow, Co Carlow

Western Road, Cork

Wicklow, Co Wicklow

The following AIB branches are due to go cashless from October 21st

Ardkeen, Waterford

Athenry, Co Galway

Ballinasloe, Co Galway

Ballinrobe, Co Mayo

Cahir, Co Tipperary

Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan

Carrick-On-Suir, Co Tipperary

Cashel, Co Tipperary

Castleblayney, Co Monaghan

Castletownbere, Co Cork

Claremorris, Co Mayo

Clifden, Co Galway

Clonskeagh, Dublin

Cobh, Co Cork

Cornelscourt, Dublin

Dundrum, Dublin

Dunmanway, Co Cork

Gort, Co Galway

Kanturk, Co Cork

Kells, Co Meath

Kinsale, Co Cork

Lismore, Co Waterford

Longford, Co Louth

Millstreet, Co Cork

Mitchelstown, Co Cork

Oranmore, Co Galway

Rathfarnham, Dublin

Roscrea, Co Tipperary

Salthill, Galway

Sandymount, Dublin

Spiddal, Co Galway

The Lab, Stillorgan, Dublin

Tramore, Co Waterford

Youghal, Co Cork

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times