There's been a broad welcome in Donegal to the news that AIB has reversed its decision to end cash services at 70 branches around the country, including six in this county - Ballybofey, Ballyshannon, Buncrana, Carndonagh, Dungloe, and Killybegs.
The decision follows much negative feedback to the move from consumers, business groups, farming and rural organisations, community groups, and politicians.
In a statement, the bank said that recognising the customer and public unease that it has caused, it had decided not to proceed with the proposed changes.
It said it had taken the original decision to remove the cash services in the context of the evolving banking environment and the opportunity to enhance its long-standing relationship with An Post.
"In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the use of digital banking services and a decline in branch visits and cash usage," the statement read.
"In AIB's case, there are 2.9 million daily digital interactions compared with 35,000 customer branch visits.
"There has been a 36% decline in cash withdrawals from ATMs and a 50% fall in cheque usage over the past five years."
The bank added that it has seen a fall of almost 50% in branch over-the-counter teller transactions, while mobile and online payments have increased by 85% in that same timeframe.
The lender, which the State owns a majority of, said it will continue to retain its 170-strong branch network in its entirety and will also continue to offer banking services through its relationship with An Post.
Speaking during her two-day visit to this county Minister for, Social Protection, Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, said that "AIB has shown a complete disregard for rural communities and have not consulted with them".
She called on AIB to halt its decision to allow for a review of retail banking to be completed.
Minister Humphreys said that she has been "visiting rural communities all over the country and they are rightly angry at this decision by AIB".
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