AIB has announced that it will not proceed with plans to make 70 of its branches around the country cashless.

In a statement, AIB said: "Recognising the customer and public unease that this has caused, AIB has decided not to proceed with the proposed changes to its bank services."

On Tuesday, the bank announced that 70 of its 170 branches across the country would go cashless by the end of the year. However, the announcement was heavily criticised.

Meanwhile, the bank added that 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.

Digital interactions

"In AIB’s case, there are 2.9m 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," the bank said in a statement.

AIB said that 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.

The bank will continue to retain its 170-branch network in its entirety and will also continue to offer banking services through its relationship with at An Post at its 920 post offices nationwide.

Below are the branches AIB had said would go cashless.

Independent TD for Laois-Offaly Carol Nolan said that the move was in direct response to a massive groundswell of public anger in rural Ireland.

AIB effectively gave them the two-fingers

The decision by AIB, she said, was very welcome and it will relieve a great deal of stress and pressure from rural businesses and rural customers.

“But the fact remains that AIB has inflicted massive reputational damage on itself.

“People were of the view that AIB treated the public revenues as its own personal ATM during the crash.

"Yet, ironically, when the same people who kept the bank afloat needed ATM’s, AIB effectively gave them the two-fingers. People will not forget that," she said.