Ireland’s Financial Services Union (FSU) accused banks of using “sneaky” “trojan horse” tactics to push toward a cashless society.
Following an Irish Independent report, the FSU accuses banks of intentionally understaffing branches, failing to repair cash ATMs within a reasonable timeframe, and failing to answer their own phones in order to push people online.
The organisation also claims that COVID-19 was used as an excuse by Irish financial institutions to reduce services and hours, despite the fact that many have yet to return to normalcy now that the country has largely emerged from lockdown.
“This is all to deny people cash and drive them online,” group General Secretary John O’Connell reportedly told the publication, referring to the pandemic period in particular as a “Trojan horse used to force people onto digital platforms.”
While the FSU’s claims are centred on the actions of Irish banks, similar concerns have been raised about the international push toward a cashless society, with the infamous World Economic Forum, in particular, pushing the transition.
The group’s submission to the Irish government on the issue of banks pushing people into digital-only banking comes after the public successfully fought off an attempt by Allied Irish Bank (AIB), one of the country’s major industry players, to remove all cash services from 70 of its branches.
The transition to a cashless society is not just a concern in Ireland, with the push toward digital-only — openly advocated for by the infamous World Economic Forum — recently gaining international attention.
The UK government, for example, has announced that it will implement legislation to protect an individual’s access to physical cash as banks close branches across the country.
According to a March report, such a reduction in access would leave millions of people in the country struggling, with ATM access being especially important in the budgeting process for many people.