Allied Irish Banks has said it plans to reduce its workforce by 1,500 by 2023.
As the Irish Examiner reports, the banks said it will cut costs by 10 per cent more than announced earlier this year to meet capital and profitability targets by 2023, saying the Covid-19 crisis made significant change both necessary and possible.
“By 2023, the bank expects to employ 1,500 fewer people due to a combination of normal retirements, natural exits and voluntary severance,” AIB said in a statement.
AIB also plans to close its branch on Cork’s Patrick’s Street, moving its operations and services to 66 South Mall.
Similar mergers will see the closure of the Eyre Square branch merging with Lynch’s Castle in Galway.
In Dublin, AIB’s Westmoreland Street operations will move to its Dame Street branch; the Crumlin Cross branch to Crumlin Road and 52 Baggot Street to 1-4 Baggot Street.
AIB also said in the statement: “The bank is confirming that in early 2021 it is to re-open its voluntary severance programme which was paused in March 2020.”
The bank also plans to exit SME lending in Britain and wants to focus on lending to corporates in the renewable, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors.
However, the timing of today’s announcement has been criticised by the Financial Services Union (FSU) who said the redundancy programme should be postponed.
“We are still in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. No major announcements on job cuts should be made at this stage, particularly by a Bank that is part-owned by the Irish Government,” John O’Connell, General Secretary of the FSU said.
The FSU ruled out any possibility of compulsory redundancies and said there had been minimal engagement between the bank and the FSU in relation to the plan.
“There will have to be immediate meaningful engagement by the Bank. The management need to provide the evidence to back up their assertion of the requirement for less staff, while demonstrating that those staff remaining will not be overburdened,” Mr O’Connell added.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, 80 per cent of AIB’s workforce has been working from home.