Fine Gael Cork South Central Senator, Jerry Buttimer, today (Tuesday) slammed a decision by Permanent TSB to close its Togher branch, saying the move will impact severely on local customers, especially older people and those without a regular means of transport.
“The decision by Permanent TSB to close its Togher branch, amalgamating it with the branch at Bishopstown is, effectively, a downgrading of services for the people of Togher.
“At a time when every taxpayer in the country has had their neck put on the line by bailing out the banks to the tune of billions, the thanks they now get in return is to have their local banking service reduced and moved a considerable distance away.
“While no-one is suggesting that Togher and Bishopstown are a million miles apart, the absence of a direct bus service between the two will now pose a serious inconvenience for the people of Togher who do not have their own means of transport and who are now being forced to make their way to Bishopstown to access their new local branch. This represents a real lack of consideration for the local community and a dismissal of the loyal customer base the bank has built up in the area over years.
“What’s more, the advent of internet banking, which is used nowadays by many as a means of not actually having to travel to the bank, is, in reality, not an option for many who are not proficient in using the internet or computers or indeed are simply not comfortable using them for banking purposes. This includes, most notably, older people, many of whom are apprehensive about dealing with their finances in this new and unfamiliar way.
“This move is being, and will continue to be, with a sense of real frustration met by the people of Togher many of whom now face a struggle in accessing their bank service.”