A source confirmed to the Donegal News yesterday (Thursday) that staff had just been informed that 2,500 jobs were to go at the bank in correspondence from CEO David Duffy.
According to the source, outlets in Donegal can little afford any redundancies. “If you look at Letterkenny, for example, the branch there really couldn’t do with much less. With the level of business going in and out, it simply wouldn’t be able to function with fewer resources.”
They added: “Until now we had been told very little. This is very disappointing from anyone’s point of view because this is 25 per cent more than was originally suggested. The only thing we are happy about is that at least we have clarity about what the bank’s proposals are now. We have been waiting for this announcement for a long time and now that we know, we can start to move on and go forward to become the strongest bank again.”
Locally, it is hoped that jobs in Donegal will be spared with the main focus being on ‘back-office’ workers in the bank’s larger centres and the surplus of employees which were subsumed during the EBS take-over.
It is not known yet if AIB plan to close any branches in the county, however, there are fears that some of the smaller outlets may be under threat.
The bank has a total of 16 branches in the Donegal, the largest of which are in Letterkenny and Donegal Town. The other branches are in Ballybofey, Lifford, Bundoran, Ballyshannon, Killybegs, Raphoe, Milford, Dungloe, Gaoth Dobhair, Falcarragh, Dunfanaghy, Buncrana, Carndonagh and Moville.
AIB confirmed that of the 2,500 redundancies, they hope to achieve half of them by the end of this year.
In a statement the bank said it hoped to achieve the redundancies on a voluntary basis as it sought to reduce its staffing costs by €170m.
AIB said it would enter a consultation process with trade unions immediately and full details of the redundancy programme, its terms and how it will operate will be announced in early April.
The bank’s CEO David Duffy said the bank aims to offer a severance package that is “fair to people at all levels in the bank, while reflecting the very difficult financial position that AIB is in”.
Reacting to the announcement yesterday, the Irish Bank Officials Association said the cuts would have a “devastating impact on ordinary employees and their families”.
It said the scale of the proposed cuts would see ordinary staff “suffer the consequences of the mismanagement of the bank’s affairs”.