TDs occupy KBC branch over treatment of customers in arrears

Bank agrees to meet three Independent Deputies after sit-in on Baggot Street

Carol Nolan, Mattie McGrath and Michael Collins at the KBC branch on  Baggot Street, Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Carol Nolan, Mattie McGrath and Michael Collins at the KBC branch on Baggot Street, Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

 

KBC Bank representatives have agreed to a meeting with three Independent TDs after the Deputies occupied a branch of the bank in Dublin.

TDs Mattie McGrath, Michael Collins and Carol Nolan said they took the action on Wednesday to highlight what they claimed was the bank’s “distressing” lack of engagement with customers in arrears who are having trouble making repayments.

Jerry Beades and members of the Land League also attended the sit-in protest at the KBC branch on Baggot Street.

Mr McGrath said the protest was to highlight “the appalling treatment that customers in distress are receiving at the hands of KBC Bank.

“We have made great progress this evening. We will meet with KBC [Bank] Ireland. representatives back here on Baggot Street on January 9th.”

He added: “We are concerned about giving out the names of the KBC management we wish to meet as we don’t want them to be antagonised on social media. We don’t want them to be hassled or intimidated.”

Mr McGrath said the group began their occupation at 2pm and it ended about 9pm, when they received written confirmation of the meeting.

“We ordered fish and chips from Brookwood restaurant next door but they weren’t allowed to come in. I told the staff in the bank here that I am diabetic so they gave us mince pies and Animal Bars,” he said.

Arrests

Meanwhile, gardaí investigating an attack on security men who evicted the McGann family from their Co Roscommon home on behalf of KBC have arrested two men and seized a gun.

In the early hours of Sunday, a group of up to 20 men arrived at the vacated McGann property in Falsk, near Strokestown, in a cattle truck, blocking an access road behind them. The group was armed with baseball bats and beat the eight security workers guarding the property.

Four vans and two cars were set on fire and a dog was killed during the incident.

Mr McGrath said the TDs at the sit-in do not condone the violence that occurred in Co Roscommon.

“We’re not here to say people shouldn’t pay or break the law. We want proper conflict resolution and mediation processes to be established for cases like Roscommon. There’s no place in Ireland for modern-day mercenaries from another state coming in here and dragging people out of their houses by the ear,” he said.