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AIB to cut 1,500 jobs and merge branches in bid to save costs

The bank said it aims to achieve over 10% reduction in costs by 2023.

People asking questions at the AIB Annual Financial Report 2018
People asking questions at the AIB Annual Financial Report 2018

AIB HAS ANNOUNCED plans to reduce its workforce by 1,500 by 2023.

The bank said it aims to achieve over 10% reduction in costs by 2023. 

In a statement today, the bank said it expects to employ 1,500 fewer people within the next three years “due to a combination of normal retirements, natural exits and voluntary severance”. 

“The bank is confirming that in early 2021 it is to re-open its voluntary severance programme which was paused in March 2020,” it confirmed. 

AIB also confirmed plans to merge a number of branches in Dublin, Cork and Galway in the first half of next year. 

In Dublin, AIB’s Westmoreland Street operations will move to its Dame Street branch. Eyre Square will more to the Lynch’s Castle branch in Galway and the Patrick Street branch will move to 66, South Mall in Cork. 

Sinn Féin spokesperson on finance Pearse Doherty has called on the management of AIB to postpone the plans to reduce its workforce by 1,500 by 2023. 

Doherty said the announcement of the job cuts was “ill-judged and premature in the teeth of this pandemic”. 

“In March, the bank postponed these plans because of Covid-19. We are still living with the virus, and its impact on jobs and livelihoods will be with us for some time,” he said. 

“To move ahead with this job-cutting exercise amid record levels of unemployment is a mistake,” Doherty said. 

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Digital banking

In its statement, AIB outlined that Covid-19 has rapidly accelerated customers’ preference for digital banking. 

Customers are now interacting with the bank’s app more than 1.54 million times a day, compared with 40,000 daily branch visits. 

AIB CEO Colin Hunt said the bank’s strategic plan, which will be implemented over the next three years, has been “influenced by the accelerating effect of Covid-19 on customers’ preference for digital banking and emerging new trends in how and where our people work”.

“Our heightened focus on cost controls, the pursuit of new growth opportunities and our investment in digital innovation will enhance the range of financial services and products for our customers, while generating value for our shareholders and putting the bank on an even stronger footing to meet the challenges ahead,” Hunt said. 

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