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Five main banks now have freephone lines to help people who are cocooning

The phone lines are operating during normal banking hours, from Monday to Friday.

Image: Shutterstock/Syda Productions

FREEPHONE SERVICES HAVE been launched by Ireland’s five main banks to help cocooning customers make payments and carry out other banking services.

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) announced that AIB, Bank of Ireland, KBC, Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank all have their own dedicated freephone lines to assist cocooning customers during the Covid-19 crisis.

Here are the banks’ numbers, which operate during normal banking hours:

  • AIB: 1800 207 232 (Read more here)
  • Bank of Ireland: 1800 946 146 (Read more here)
  • KBC Bank: 1800 804 472
  • Permanent TSB: 1800 218 000
  • Ulster Bank: 1800 656 001

The dedicated phonelines, along with advice on how best to conduct day-to-day banking if you are required to stay at home are included in a special Covid-19 Information Guide being launched by the BPFI. It includes details on: 

  • Over the phone and online banking options
  • Making payments over the phone
  • Getting help with your banking
  • Tips for keeping your money safe.

Screenshot 2020-04-07 at 19.30.25

Brian Hayes, former Fine Gael MEP and BPFI CEO, said: “With close to 10% of the population over 70 years of age, banks recognise the serious challenges now faced by customers who are being advised to cocoon and who may be in vulnerable circumstances”.

On the guide for bank customers who are cocooning, Hayes said: “We encourage the use of online and phone banking as well as card payments as much as possible in the current environment given the convenience and security these methods offer.

For a small cohort of customers, these may not be feasible options and therefore all retail banks have put in place the possibility for such customers to get help accessing their cash. There are very strict protocols in place around this facility to ensure the potential for financial abuse is minimised and that it allows customers keep control of their money.

BPFI said it would be working with Safeguarding Ireland and Alone, the organisation that supports older people, in the coming weeks to share awareness of issues that may arise for vulnerable customers and to ensure the leaflet reaches as many impacted customers as possible.

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