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Banking Sector

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 15 June 2021

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Questions (98)

Steven Matthews


98. Deputy Steven Matthews asked the Minister for Finance the steps he will take to engage with representatives of the major banks that are either pulling out of the Irish market or restructuring their high street presence with regard to the vacant units they are leaving in towns and villages; if he will support the repurposing of these units as community hubs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31734/21]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The withdrawal of Ulster Bank and the potential withdrawal of KBC Bank Ireland (KBC) from the market as well as the decision by Bank of Ireland to close 88 branches in the Republic of Ireland and the decision by AIB to close a smaller number, are regrettable, particularly for their customers and staff and they represent unfavourable developments for the Irish banking market.

As the Deputy will be aware, decisions in relation to the disposal of property are the sole responsibility of the board and management of the individual banks, which are run on an independent and commercial basis and as Minister for Finance, I have no role in such decisions. The independence of banks in which the State has a shareholding is protected by Relationship Frameworks which are legally binding documents that cannot be changed unilaterally.

Notwithstanding this, I would encourage any local or community groups with an interest in acquiring a particular property to express their interest to the relevant bank.