AIB cash services, political opportunism, management obligations deferred

AIB have reversed their decision to do away with some seventy automated teller machines and cease providing cash services in various rural towns.

The decision to row back on their original decision was prompted by a backlash from some of the general public and politicians looking to safeguard votes and protect their base.

This is not the end of the matter, of course.

AIB will implement this decision in the not-too-distant future is my confident view. As they are obliged to make decisions in the best interests of AIB and its shareholders.

And this decision was taken having regard to the way we use, spend and access money nowadays.

Time moves on, our habits change, and only a small number of businesses and persons are reliant on cash nowadays.

And there were ways to deal with the difficulties posed by the original AIB decision, including the use of the post office and credit unions.

But outrage and a sly jumping on a bandwagon by opportunist politicians has meant that the decisions has simply been deferred. It is inevitable that this will be revisited.

And anyone who fails to see this might as well start campaigning now for the return of the ass and cart to provide public transport.  

Yes, the State/taxpayer has a large shareholding in AIB.

But the board of directors and management of AIB are obliged by law, and their statutory and fiduciary duties, to make decisions in the interests of their shareholder.

Sooner or later, they will have to return to those obligations. Which will involve making tough decisions that are based in data and logic, not emotion or politics.

We have not had a bank in Enfield for years. My bank is in Mullingar, 25 miles away. I have never set foot in this bank. In fact, I don’t even know where it is in Mullingar.

And businesses have thrived, including those reliant on cash.

Times change, new developments arrive. Revolut, SumUp, Paypal, EFT, debit card, credit card etc. etc.

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