Economy

Tipperary needs banks if towns and villages are to be rejuvenated

County has lost 21 bank branches over the past decade

Tipperary Star reporter

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Tipperary needs banks if towns and villages are to be rejuvenated

Local banks are vital to get Tipperary's rural economy going

The maintaining of bank branches in towns is key to rejuvenating Tipperary, according to the Financial Services Union.

Tipperary has lost 21 bank branches over the past decade, according to a study by Seán Frank Ó Dubhláin of Trinity College, which has been highlighted by the FSU.

“These closures have disproportionately affected rural towns and communities,” said Gareth Murphy, acting general secretary of the FSU. “A number of reports definitively show the negative economic impact a branch closure has on a town and community.”

Mr Murphy said that numerous surveys had found that small businesses, in particular, needed and wanted the local branch more than other types of customers. “For rural towns, the branch is critical to employment and economic life in the town. While personal customers can utilise technology, for businesses, face-to-face banking is much more important,” he said.

The FSU has stated that several regulatory changes should be considered in order to increase the prospect of rural rejuvenation. Before any change is considered, the banks should have to publish impact assessment reports and engage in public consultations with the FSU and also communities and customers, he said.