Tuesday, March 31, 2020

By Press Association

AIB has been criticised for charging fees on the accounts of people who have lost their jobs during the coronavirus crisis.

Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty called for the majority State-owned bank to cancel fees charged and refund the customers who have been laid off.

Today, tens of thousands of workers received their first Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350.

However, the Sinn Féin finance spokesman said that many saw fees of up to €100 charged from their account.

Mr Doherty described it as a “disgrace” and has written to Finance Minister Pascal Donohoe and the Central Bank.

Mr Doherty said: “This payment will be needed for workers to pay their bills and feed their families.

“It is disgraceful to learn that AIB, instead of providing relief to these customers, have on the same day decided to charge quarterly fees to many of these customers who have just lost their jobs.

These fees do not apply to customers with more than €2,500 in their accounts, but if you have just lost your job as a result of this outbreak they do.

“That AIB are charging workers and families who have lost their jobs and have little in their accounts these fees is a disgrace.

“The Covid-19 Unemployment Payment was not intended for the banks, and this pandemic should not be an opportunity for banks to squeeze more out of their customers.

AIB would not confirm whether the bank would refund their customers.

In a statement, a spokesman for AIB said: “Due to the normal costs associated with administering customers’ bank accounts, the bank charges standard transaction and account maintenance fees.

“These are applied on a quarterly basis, with the most recent fees debited from customer accounts in March for the period November – February.

“AIB offers our current account customers safe and secure online payments with a mobile app and a range of ‘tap’ payment solutions to use debit cards, phone or watch for daily transactions, both in Ireland and worldwide.”

[ul][b]Useful information[/b]
[li]The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it [url=https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus.html]here[/url] [/li]
[li]Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people – this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;[/li]
[li]GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.[/li]
[li]ALONE has [burl=987612]launched a national support line[/burl] and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024[/li]

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