What is a bank?


Sir, – This week I received an emailed letter from the Ulster Bank informing me that as from August 20th, 12 services are being discontinued in their Ranelagh branch in Dublin.

If I need these services I must now go to the Baggot Street Lower branch for most of them, or to the College Green branch if I want foreign exchange.

I don’t often annoy my branch by going in expecting to see a human being. I put any cheques I receive in a fast lodgement envelope and put it in the bank letter box.

From August 20th, I can no longer do this as fast lodgements are being consigned to history.

The letter I received says the changes are to “ensure our branches remain relevant and in line with how our customers wish to do business with us”.

Well, this long-term customer was not asked her opinion of the existing services and what changes were needed to meet her requirements.

To operate, banks need a banking licence. Why should they get a licence if they don’t provide basic services? The Ballsbridge branch is becoming “relevant” too so their customers must also journey to the two branches above to meet their basic needs.

I went to the Bank of Ireland Ranelagh which is opposite the Ulster Bank to see what they could offer me.

They no longer have people behind the counter. There is no counter. Machines everywhere.

It seems bizarre that someone living in a highly populated area near to the Dublin city centre cannot get basic banking services locally. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6.