Aontú councillor Emer Toibín has called on the Irish banking sector to be more flexible in providing services for the elderly.

She claimed, “In recent months we have seen a fundamental shift within the Irish Banking Sector. The sector is now over-concentrated, with local economies and consumers now paying the heavy price.

“The decision by Bank of Ireland to close 103 branches across the 32 counties, followed right on the heels of Ulster Bank’s withdrawal from the Irish Banking Sector. Between Ulster Bank’s and BOI’s announcements, Meath will have lost five banks in our communities. “This has made banking very inaccessible for elderly people within our communities. Many are forced to drive considerable distances to access a shrinking number of banks, which can take hours out of their day.

“That is why I am calling for Banks to allocate designated days for elderly people to be prioritised for their banking needs. We saw throughout the pandemic, that specific shopping hours for our elderly were implemented – why not now continue that spirit of community and implement banking days where our elderly are the priority?”

“Contrary to what the Tánaiste believes, online banking is not the solution. For many onlinebanking is simply unusable and means that they are left behind.

“This is a simple fix: make sure those who cannot access online banking can access in-person banking services. Let’s ensure compassion and consideration continues to underpin our community, making it accessible to all!”