Ministers Donohoe & Fleming publish the Retail Banking Review

From Department of Finance 

Published on 29 November 2022

Last updated on 29 November 2022

The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD and the Minister of State for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance, Sean Fleming TD, have published the Report of the Retail Banking Review (Review) following its approval by Government, which also approved the implementation of the recommendations in the Review.

The Ministers published the terms of reference for the Review in November 2021 following the significant changes seen in the retail banking sector including the closure of bank branches and the announcement that two of the five retail banks were going to exit the Irish market.

The Review, through its examination of the evolution of the retail banking sector and the current landscape, identified a range of issues and makes recommendations to address them. Looking forward, the Review concludes that the trends seen over the last decade, such as the increasing digitalisation of the sector and the further decline in the use of cash, will continue and the issues arising from these trends, including fewer ATMs and reduced branch networks, are already issues that we see today.

In response to the issues it identifies, the Review makes 34 separate recommendations spread across the themes of access to cash; consumer protection, financial inclusion and financial literacy; competition; SMEs; mortgages; and climate and staffing, including the remuneration restrictions on Bank of Ireland, AIB and PTSB.

The Minister commented:

“The Review is a comprehensive report that identifies and addresses key issues associated with the retail banking sector. These issues arise from a range of factors with technology driving the majority of changes. While many of these changes deliver improvements, the organic and progressive nature of these changes is also leaving some behind.

The Review makes 34 separate recommendations to be implemented by the Department of Finance, the Central Bank of Ireland and the retail banking sector itself. Implementing these recommendations will deliver real benefits for consumers and SMEs and help ensure that the sector continues to fulfil the critical function it plays in our lives and our economy fairly, equitably and effectively.”

Minister of State with responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance, Seán Fleming TD commented:

“The Government wants a healthy retail banking sector that delivers for the public. To compliment the Retail Banking Review, I will soon publish the Credit Union Amendment Bill. This will help Credit Unions grow as a key provider of community banking and meet the challenges posed by the changing domestic banking environment.”

Jimmy Larsen and his team at B&A conducted the consumer survey and presented at the dialogue.

Download the Retail Banking Review