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Baincéireacht poiblí níos práinní ná riamh | Public banking needed now more than ever.

*English Below*


Baincéireacht poiblí níos práinní ná riamh – Comhaontas Glas


Tá staidpháipéar ar bhaincéireacht poiblí foilsithe ag an gComhaontas Glas le tamall de laethanta anuas.


Mar chéim i dtreo bunú córas baincéireachta poiblí in Éirinn, tá iarrtha againn ar an Aire Airgeadais athbhreathnú a chur ar bun ar seirbhísí Comhair Creidmheasanna agus An Post, rochtain réigiúnach agus rochtain ar seirbhísí baincéireachta pobail gan dóthain freastal orthu. Agus cinneadh déanta ag Banc Uladh taraingt amach as Poblacht na hÉireann, agus go bhfuil sé fógartha ag Bainc na hÉireann go bhfuil sé i gceist acu 88 brainse a dhúnadh, tá sé níos soiléire ná riamh go dteastaíonn córas baincéireachta poiblí in Éirinn. Sa bhliain 2018, bhí gréasáin 702 brainse bainc trádála in Éirinn. Tá creimeadh gasta tagtha ar an ngréasán seo. Leis na cinntí atá déanta ag Banc Uladh agus Banc na hÉireann, beidh ós ceann 15% de bhrainsí sa stáit dúnta. Buille trom do sheanóirí is ea é, agus beidh go leor pobail faoin tuath fágtha gan seirbhís baincéireachta ina gceantar féin. Beidh chodanna móra d’iarthar Phort Láirge fágtha gan rochtain ar seirbhís baincéireachta ina gceantar féin, agus beidh iachall orthu a ghnó a thabhairt isteach sna bailte móra. Buille ar leith atá ann do ghnólachtaí beaga agus meánacha atá faoi bhagairt cheana ag an Bhreatimeacht agus Covid.


“Tá leathnaigh inár nuachtáin líonta ag polaiteoirí áitiúla le seachtainí beaga anuas ag gearán faoi na cinntí seo. Tá an ceart acu gan dabht, agus is cinnte gur ábhar imní iad na fadhbanna a bheidh ann do sheanóirí agus ceantracha tuaithe. Ritheann sé liom, áfach, nach bhfuil aon réiteach molta ar na fadhbanna seo atá aitheanta acu. Ní leor é aird a tharraigt ar fadhbanna agus iad a cháineadh. Séard is brí le ceannaireacht ná réiteach na faidhbe a aithint agus é a chur i bhfeidhm. Tá réiteach molta ag an gComhaontas Glas, agus táimid ag iarraidh ar na páirtithe eile tacaíocht a thabhairt dúinn chun an réiteach sin a chur i bhfeidhm.”

Críostóir Ó Faoláin, Ionadaí Áitiúil an Chomhaontais Glais i nDún Garbhán


Tá ró-bhéim ar na colúin bainc ag cothú míshocracht san earnáil baincéireachta. Margadh beag is ea an tír seo i dtéarmaí airgeadais. Beidh an baol ann i gcónaí go ndéanfadh bainc príobháideach an cinneadh atá déanta ag Banc Uladh, in ainneoin a bheith sa mhargadh le breis is 160 bliain anuas, agus in ainneoin brabús a dhéanamh in Éirinn. Ag deireadh na dála, tagann na cinntí atá déanta ag Banc Uladh agus Banc na hÉireann ciall dá gheallsealbhóirí. Seo an fáth go dteastaíonn córas baincéireachta poiblí in Éirinn a thabharfaidh tús áite do riachtanais an phobail.


D’fhéadfadh córas baincéireachta poiblí nua, bunaithe ar infreastruchtúr réigiúnach, muinín agus rochtain atá ag teastáil go mór a sholáthar do chustaiméirí, go háirithe i gceantair tuaithe. Bheadh an córas baincéireachta molta ag an gComhaontas Glas bunaithe ar bhonn réigiúnach, ar scála níos mó ná na comhair creidmheasa atá ann cheana. Tá ról ag Comhair Creidmheasa an bearna i mbaincéireacht phoiblí in Éirinn a líonadh. Ba chóir fiosrúchán a dhéanamh ar bhealach ina mbeadh comhair creidmheasa mar chuid de shamhail baincéireachta poiblí áitiúil. Féadfaidh gréasán agus saineolas ón 250 brainse chomhar creidmheasa pobalbhunaithe in Éirinn bunchloch láidir a chur ar fáil do mhúnla baincéireachta poiblí áitiúil. Baineann an rud céanna leis An Post. Tá beagnach 1,000 oifig ag An Post in Éirinn. Bíonn sriain ar na seirbhísí reatha atá curtha ar fáil ag An Post de bharr an múnla reatha mar sholáthraithe seirbhíse do bhainc colúin, in ionad a bheith ina soláthraithe seirbhíse iontu féin. Tá bagairt ann cheana go mbeidh brainsí neamh-bhrabúsacha de chuid An Post dúnta. Ní leor é Oibleagáid Sheirbhíse Poiblí chun brainsí beaga a choinneáil ar oscailt, chun ár mbrainsí oifige an phoist a shábháil; ba choir go mbeadh béim ar fiontair pobail-bhunaithe brabúsach a dhéanamh as Oifigí an Phoist.


“Má dhúnann Banc na hÉireann i Lios Mór, bheadh sé tubaisteach do go leor daoine sa phobal áitiúil a bhraitheann air. Beidh tionchar aige sin ar an bpobal iomlán i ngeall ar chaillteanas ATM 24h. Táthar ag súil gur féidir an áis sin a choinneáil sa bhaile, fiú más gá é a cheangal le hOifig an Phoist mar sheirbhís don phobal.”

Lynne Glasscoe, Ionadaí an Chomhaontais Ghlais sa Lios Mór


Creideann an Comhaontas Glas gur chóir córas baincéireachta a bheith dírithe go háitiúil le sáinordú chun freastal ar an bpobal ina réigiún féin, ag soláthar seirbhísí airgeadais agus seirbhísí baincéireachta nua-aoiseacha don gheilleagar féin. Bheadh an córas baincéireachta seo mar an tarna leibhéil de bhaincéireacht in Éirinn, dírithe ar ceisteanna áitiúla le bainisteoirí áitiúla. Bheadh samhail gnó ag an ngréasán bainc poiblí chun brabús a dhéanamh ach gan é a uasmhéadú. Teastaíonn brabús ó bhanc poiblí ionas go mairfidh agus go bhfásfaidh sé, ach sé an príomh-aidhm leis an mbanc ná luach agus inbhuanaitheacht a chruthú dá gcuid pobail. Bheadh limistéar geografach soiléir ag gach aon bhanc ina bhfuil sé ag feidhmiú, rud a cheadaíonn dó feasacht níos doimhne a fháil ar a limistéar agus caidrimh fadbhunaithe a thógáil lena bpobail. Bheadh struchtúr gréasáin díláirithe ag an gcóras baincéireachta poiblí. Bheadh gach aon bhanc neamhspleách, le cinntí glactha go háitiúil. Tá timpeall 1,000 bainc poiblí dá leithéid ag oibriú timpeall na hEorpa in 21 tír Eorpach.




Public banking needed now more than ever – Green Party


In recent days, the Green Party has published its position paper on Public Banking. With a view to establishing a public banking system in Ireland, we have called on the Minister for Finance to begin a review of Credit Union and Post Office services, regional access and access of underserved communities to banking services. As Ulster Bank announces it is to withdraw from the Republic of Ireland, and Bank of Ireland plans 88 branch closures, the need for a public banking system in Ireland has never been clearer. In 2018 there was a network of 702 commercial bank branches in Ireland. This network is undergoing a rapid contraction, the recent decisions by Ulster Bank and Bank of Ireland between them will see over 15% of bank branches in the state closed. This is a serious blow for older people, and many rural communities will be left without access to banking services in their area. Large areas of West Waterford will be deprived of access to banking services in their locality, forcing people to take their business further afield to urban areas. This is a particular blow to small and medium enterprises that already face the twin challenge of Brexit and the impacts of Covid.


“Many local politicians have filled pages of our newspapers in recent weeks to complain about these decisions. They are of course correct in their criticism, and the problems for rural areas and older customers that have been highlighted are very real concerns. It strikes me, however, that for all the problems that have been identified, no viable solutions have been proposed. It’s not enough to criticise and highlight problems. Leadership means identifying a solution to the problem and delivering it. The Green Party has proposed a solution, and we are calling on other parties to support us and to help us deliver it.”

Críostóir Ó Faoláin, the Local Area Rep for the Green Party in Dungarvan


An overreliance on pillar banks is now leading to instability in the banking sector. Ireland is a small market in financial terms. We will always be at risk of a privately owned bank making the decision that Ulster Bank has made, despite it being in the market for more than 160 years, and despite reporting profits in Ireland. The bottom line is that the decisions that Ulster Bank and Bank of Ireland have made make sense for their shareholders. That is why we need a public banking system in Ireland which will put the needs of the communities it serves first.


A new public banking system, based on existing regional infrastructure, could provide much needed confidence and access for customers, especially in rural areas. The public banking system proposed by the Green Party would operate on a regional basis, on a larger scale than existing credit unions. Credit Unions have a role to play in filling the void of public banking in Ireland. A pathway for credit unions to become part of a local public banking model should be explored. The network and expertise of the 250 community-based credit union branches in Ireland could form a strong base for a local public banking model. The same is true of An Post. There are nearly 1,000 post offices in Ireland. The current services offered by An Post are constrained by the current model as service providers for pillar banks rather than being service providers in their own right. An Post already faces the possible closure of unprofitable branches. A Public Service Obligation to keep small branches afloat is not the answer to save our post office branches; the focus should be on making Post Offices profitable community-focused ventures.


“The closure of the Bank of Ireland in Lismore will be a severe blow to many members of the local community that rely on it. And the whole community will be impacted by the loss of a 24-hour ATM. It is hoped that this facility can be retained in the town, even possibly appended to the Post Office as a service for the community.“

Lynne Glasscoe, the Green Party Local Area Rep for Lismore


The Green Party believes that a public banking system should be locally focused with a mandate to serve the community in its region by providing finance and other modern banking services to the real economy. This public banking system would form a second tier of banking in Ireland, focused on local concerns with local managers. This network of public banks would have a business model that is profit making but not profit-maximising. A public bank must have profits in order to survive and grow but the core goal of the bank is to create value and sustainability for their communities. Each public bank would have a clear geographical area within which it operates, which allows it to gain in depth knowledge of their area and build lasting relationships within their communities. The public banking system we propose would have a decentralized, network structure. Each bank would be independent with decisions taken locally. There are about 1,000 such public banks operating around Europe in 21 European countries.

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