Banking staff at ‘breaking point’ due to exit of KBC and Ulster Bank

Banking staff are at ‘breaking point’ in the face of increased workloads caused by the Ulster Bank and KBC exits, according to research by the Financial Services Union, which represents bank workers.

The union recently commissioned a survey of its members, which shows that 88% of respondents feel stressed at work on a regular or very regular basis.

The study found that 73% believe their workload has increased due to exits from Ulster Bank and KBC.

John O’Connell, the secretary general of the Financial Services Union, has called on the regulator to ask Ulster Bank and KBC to extend their withdrawal deadlines and employ additional resources and staff to help customers to switch accounts.

Speaking before addressing the Finance and Public Expenditure and Taoiseach Committee at the Dail, Mr O’Connell said: ‘It was clear from the outset that such a seismic change would require setting realistic deadlines for completion, additional resources and personnel to cope with the additional workload and the collaboration of all relevant stakeholders to ensure a transparent and coordinated approach to this major change project.It is regrettable that the Banks have not did not take this approach from the start.

“Banks take a very direct approach to change, and we have emphasized in all of our meetings with them and with other stakeholders that appropriate time, resources and transparency must be devoted to this issue for a successful outcome. and to regain public trust, the important issue of staff welfare and welfare must be a constant concern for banks,” he said.

“Ulster Bank was aware when the six-month delay was announced that the outgoing banks were not ready to deal with the exits and the outgoing banks knew despite their public statements that they were not ready to do so. the added workload,” O’Connell said. mentioned.

He said that because of their concerns, they had employed an independent polling company ‘Ireland Thinks’ to survey our members about staffing levels in their branch or department and how this affects customer services and their own well-being.

“The results are striking and expose the reality of the current situation,” he said.

Under a proposed implementation plan, they are asking Ulster Bank and KBC to commit to keeping existing branches open until at least the end of 2023.