The Permanent TSB branch in Tullamore
PERMANENT TSB is to withdraw cash desk services from its branch at O'Connor Square in Tullamore.
Customers of the bank were informed last week that from April 19 next the Tullamore branch will become a “fully automated digital experience branch and there will no longer be a physical cash desk.”
The decision is part of a nation-wide plan by the bank which will affect 44 of its 76 branches around the country.
The moves comes as another blow to the banking sector in Tullamore with the decision by Ulster Bank to close its branch in the town after announcing it is to withdraw from the market in the Republic.
It also follows on from Bank of Ireland's announcement to close its branches in Clara, Edenderry and Banagher.
Permanent TSB's decision has been greeted with dismay by customers locally and by the business community in the town.
One long-standing customer, who contacted the Tribune last week, expressed anger at the language used by the bank in the letter sent to him and others announcing the move.
He said the public relations speak used in the letter tried to camoflouge what was effectively a downgrading of the Tullamore branch.
The letter stated that “at Permanent TSB, we understand that our customers’ needs are always evolving and this has never been more evident than over the last year.
“It’s important that we evolve with you and we are continually looking for better ways to meet your changing needs, to ensure your experience with us is convenient, easy and always secure.
“People and community will continue to be at the heart of what we do, and while we are transforming our Branch Network to meet your needs, we are delighted to advise that all 76 of our branches nationwide will remain open.
“We’ve listened to our customers and over the last number of years we have seen more and more customers move towards use of our digital channels and a significant reduction in over the counter cash transactions in our branches.
“In response to this shift in our customers’ behaviour, we are converting some of our branches to become a fully automated cash and digital experience, as well as continuing to invest in our digital capabilities.
“We will continue to invest in training and development for our branch colleagues and our team will remain on hand to support and guide you, should you need assistance.
“This evolution of our branches will also allow our experienced team to spend more time supporting you, our customer, through your big financial decisions.
“We are confident these changes will meet our customers’ evolving needs and we look forward to welcoming you to your updated branch service.”