Allowing Bank of Ireland to enter into a contract with Post Offices to provide ‘community’ banking throughout the country is the fiscal equivalent of letting a fox guard the hen-house, Finbarr Filan Renua Ireland Sligo Leitrim candidate has warned.
Mr Filan said of the proposal: ‘’Bank of Ireland is abandoning rural Ireland across the board. The recently announced of the service centre in Tubbercurry is just one example.
"It has betrayed and robbed its customers and abandoned small businesses," he added.
"The government is engaged in a stroke where banks win again, and citizens lose. The government can pretend all it wants that this saves Post Offices and introduces "Community" Banking. The people are not buying this pig in a poke.
“Instead of introducing diversity this foolish move will increase the market dominance of our failed pillar banks. It will also betray the constitutional imperative of the state to ensure that ‘in what pertains to the control of credit the constant and predominant aim shall be the welfare of the people as a whole’.
“It will ensure that interest rates will remain exorbitantly high when compared to German Public Banks who currently offer 30-year mortgages, fixed for ten years at 1.1% and business loans as low as 1% and not exceeding 3%.
“The decision will also ensure Credit Unions will come under even more pressure as people will be encouraged to save with their ‘community’ bank which will be in a position to offer higher rates than Credit Unions.
“Bank of Ireland will reduce its cost base and have its work done for a pittance by Post Offices. Bank of Ireland shareholders will win and society loses … again.
"No amount of government spin can hide the truth that this is the opposite to what the country needs.
"Ireland needs real Public and Community banking to compete with the risk taking privately owned pillar banks. In fact, introducing competition to the banking sector was a prerequisite to the bail out of our pillar banks.
“The way forward for the Post Office Network is to replicate what the New Zealand government did in 2002; to set up Ireland's version of the Kiwi Bank. This now has 20% of the New Zealand market and growing.
“However, that would be a problem for Ireland's pillar banks and that becomes a problem for politicians. Which is why the corporates win again. If you want to change this, then Renua Ireland is where you need to be. “