(Friday 22 July 2022) Responding to AIB’s announcement on Friday that they will not proceed with their plan to remove cash services from 70 branches, Celine Clarke Head of Advocacy and Communications at Age Action said “Cash is king for people budgeting on low incomes or who are not online. Limiting their access to their cash puts those people at risk of debt. Forcing people to do their business online puts some older persons at risk of financial elder abuse."
It is a well-documented fact that the drive towards a cashless economy and a digital first model of delivering financial and public services disproportionally impacts on older people who are not online. Our research shows that 65% of people over the age of 65 experience digital exclusion. The Department of Finance’s own research shows that more than half of older persons do not use online banking, and most older persons visit bank branches on a regular basis to make cash transactions. The strong public reaction towards AIB’s cashless branches demonstrates the need for a new inclusive banking model where everyone can get access to affordable and accessible banking facilities so that they can fully participate in society. An inclusive banking model must be an outcome of the Irish Retail Banking Review that is being led by the Minister for Finance” Clarke said.