The Future of Banking – Congress Statement

Congress supports the call by the Financial Services Union (FSU) for the establishment of a forum by governments in the Republic and Northern Ireland to discuss the future of banking and financial sectors on the island.

General Secretary Patricia King said thousands of workers face turmoil following the scandal at Davy Stockbrokers and recent announcements by Ulster Bank, which plans to depart from the Republic, and plans by AIB and Bank of Ireland to slash the number of Branches.

Patricia King said “billions of euro were spent rescuing the banks after the property crash but is it fit for purpose to serve the needs of society and the economy? A structured debate on the banking sector would be good for customers, business, staff, Banks, and the Government”.

The General Secretary said “fundamental questions” have been put in a discussion paper published by the FSU entitled ‘The Future of Banking in Ireland and Northern Ireland’. The paper examines a range of issues including the lack of public trust within finance, the closure or downgrading of branches and ATMs, SME lending, financial exclusion, illiteracy, and digital exclusion along with banking culture and ethics and reviewing whistle-blower protection.

Patricia King said “it is time to engage with all stakeholder at a cross-border forum where customers, staff, management, trade unions, business and employers’ groups, and other community interests should all have their voices heard”