In a media release circulated by Paddy McDonnell, head of media relations for AIB, the bank announced it will retain its 170-strong branch network and will not remove cash services from 70 of its branches - a reversal on its announcement earlier this week.
As part of a €40m investment programme that included an extension of the bank's alliance with An Post, the national post office service, AIB had stated that 70 of its bank branches will be "repurposed" with an emphasis on account opening and digital services.
McDonnell's media release states: "In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the use of digital banking services and a decline in branch visits and cash usage. In AIB’s case, there are 2.9 million daily digital interactions compared with 35,000 customer branch visits. There has been a 36% decline in cash withdrawals from ATMs and a 50% fall in cheque usage over the past five years. AIB has also seen a fall of almost 50% in branch over-the-counter teller transactions, while mobile and online payments have increased by 85% in that same timeframe."
"It was in the context of this evolving banking environment and the opportunity to enhance its long- standing relationship with An Post that AIB took the decision to remove cash services from 70 of its branches. However, recognising the customer and public unease that this has caused, AIB has decided not to proceed with the proposed changes to its bank services."
The bank and its CEO, Colin Hunt, recieved significant political and indsutry backlash across Ireland following its initial announcement earlier this week.