Three Offaly banks to close for last time in early October
Three Bank of Ireland branches in Offaly will close their doors for the last time in early October.
The bank's branches in Banagher, Edenderry and Clara will also close on October 8 along with 85 other outlets across the country as part of what the bank calls its ongoing transition to digital banking.
The closures were first announced in March at the same time as the bank's new partnership with An Post.
The bank says its partnership with An Post will allow customers to access a number of services in their local post office, including over the counter cash and cheque lodgements, withdrawals, and balance enquiries.
The bank has written to customers to inform them of the closure date, as well as advising them of banking services available to them after October 8.
Cllr Clare Claffey told the Midland Tribune that in spite of the An Post arrangement, locals in Banagher are not happy with the closure.
She pointed out that the closures will leave both Banagher and Clara without a local bank. Bank of Ireland customers in Banagher will have to travel 12 kilometres to Birr to avail of in branch banking, while customers in the Clara area will have to travel 11 kilometres to Tullamore.
“Unfortunately,” she said, “there will no longer be a full-time ATM in Banagher. Supervalu has an ATM but if people need to draw out money after 9pm they will have to go to Birr which is madness. The closure also brings another vacant property on the main street. Local people aren't happy with the closure.”
Cllr Ken Smollen said that the closure is bad news for Clara and its people.
He said Clara will also lose its only on street ATM.
“There is an ATM in one of the shops but if people need money at night when it is closed they will have to go to Tullamore or Athlone,” he said.
A spokesperson for Bank of Ireland says that the arrangement with An Post will be in place before the branches close next month and "will enable customers to carry out a range of banking transactions at over 900 post offices across the country for no additional charge, as well as at Bank of Ireland branches. In summary, there is no requirement to transfer to an alternative branch; customers can do their banking at any Bank of Ireland branch, regardless of where their account is held. They will keep their existing account number, sort code and IBAN. Customers can continue to use their debit card, ATM card and cheque book and any standing orders and direct debits will carry on as before. Customers can also bank over the phone, on the internet and using our mobile banking app."
Once the closures are complete, that will leave only two branches of Bank of Ireland operating in Offaly, in Tullamore and Birr.
Bank of Ireland says that the changes are in response to ”significant trends in how people are banking'.
The bank says footfall at the branches it's closing is down on average by c60% since 2017, while digital usage has increased by one third.
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