NEWS RELEASE: STOP 165% INCREASE IN AIB CHARGES: RGDATA URGES MINISTER NOONAN
RGDATA, the representative body for the owners of 4,000 local family owned shops and supermarkets who provide 90,000 jobs throughout Ireland, today urged Finance Minister Michael Noonan to intervene to stop AIB from increasing Transaction Fee charges on business current accounts by up to 165%.
Shop owners who are AIB business customers have been informed by letter from the bank (click here for example) that from June 1, 2013 AIB intends to scrap 17 cent and 25 cent Transaction Rates for lodging cash and charge a standard fee of 45 cent per €100 lodged.
This is a 165% increase in fees for many RGDATA members who bank with AIB.
"Our members are extremely angry at this news. It is incomprehensible that AIB is taking this action at a time when family owned shops are fighting for survival with turnover in 2012 down on 2011," said RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley. "Independent shops have taken every step to reduce their costs and manage their businesses more efficiently. Margins in the trade have been squeezed and many shops are barely breaking even."
"RGDATA has written to Minister Noonan saying that this decision by AIB – to increase charges to members by 165% in some cases – will cause severe hardship and difficulty. It will cost jobs, put some shops under severe pressure and will have an impact on prices and competitiveness," said Buckley.
RGDATA also slammed the "take it or leave" attitude displayed by AIB. "This is an affront to our members many of whom have remained loyal to AIB during these extremely challenging times."
RGDATA described the move by AIB as "cynical in the extreme" as AIB is aware how difficult it will be for many of these customers to change banks. "This is adding considerable stress onto business owners who have been long standing and loyal customers of AIB," said Buckley.
RGDATA urged Minister Noonan Minister to step in and stop this attempt by AIB to dip their hands further into the pockets of struggling family businesses. "We understand that the Government wants the banks to be profitable and stand on their own feet. But at what cost to SMEs, family businesses, consumer prices, local communities and local jobs?" Buckley asked.
RGDATA said that if the Government genuinely wants to support Irish family businesses and local jobs then it must use its powers to stop any bank from forging ahead with increases in charges of this magnitude.
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