Counter service to close at Taghmon bank
Hundreds of people have signed a petition calling on the Bank of Ireland to cancel a plan to close the counter service at its branch in Taghmon.
Bank of Ireland announced about a month ago that there will no longer be a counter service at its premises from August 2 and has posted signs declaring: 'We're Changing With You But Staying in Taghmon.'
A local business woman who organised the petition said the bank informed customers that the cash service is to be withdrawn completely and will be replaced by machines.
'I saw a staff member showing an elderly man how to use a machine the other day and he was just looking at her blankly. The poor man hadn't a clue,' said the business owner who believes the move will be a very retrograde step for the village.
'The bank attracts people into the village and there will be a reduced footfall if it closes. It will be a great inconvenience for elderly people who rely on the personal service and find using machines difficult.' The petition, which has received hundreds of signatures, will be presented to the Bank of Ireland on Monday next, July 17.
'I think people didn't even know this was happening because the sign in the bank has a photograph of a smiling lady as if this is good news'.
She said word of the Taghmon protest had obviously reached Bank of Ireland head office because the local bank manager told her that B of I is willing to send a senior representative down to talk to local people in a bid to allay their fears about the changes.
'To go from a full bank branch to no counter service is a major change. The bank has been in Taghmon since the 1920's and this has been achieved through the support of the people of Taghmon. 'It's the only bank in the village and if that goes, we have nothing. I believe that if this is allowed to happen, the bank could go altogether.'
For transactions involving amounts over €3,000, the bank is advising people to speak to a welcome advisor for alternative options. 'I contacted them about that and the alternative options are to drive to Wexford or New Ross, We are calling on the bank to retain the counter service even for one day a week,' she said.