Dáil debates

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions

Banking Sector

11:30 am

Photo of Brendan SmithBrendan Smith (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Minister. His Department and the Central Bank have had more engagement with stakeholders since we debated this issue early in the process, and I welcome that. He stated that at the end of August, only 24% of customers had closed their accounts, which means 76% of people had yet to do so, with only 40% of the timeframe remaining. It is not practical to think this process of migrating huge numbers of accounts will be completed by the end of April next year. I accept that the Central Bank, which is in consultation with the two banks, cannot issue an edict, but it has to discuss what is realistic and what will happen. The last thing we need to see is accounts being closed automatically because people have not been able to meet the deadline. I know some very IT-literate people who could not transfer their accounts and set up new ones online. Some of them sought and got meetings in banks. Individual officials in various financial institutions have been helpful when people have got appointments, but the banks have not provided the additional personnel to their branches that they promised to provide. One bank quoted the number of additional staff it has taken on but it did not itemise the fact that a considerable proportion of those people were working abroad and not at branches in our State.


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