James McDermott: For a bank that is supposed to ‘back brave’, AIB’s cashless escapade was cowardly

Going cashless may have been a surreptitious first step to closing branches because, without cash, there is less footfall, which can then be blamed for closure

‘Had AIB succeeded in turning 70 branches cashless, it is likely that many of them would have been quietly closed entirely in the near future.’ Picture: Getty

In the 1996 movie Jerry Maguire, Tom Cruise plays a sports agent with just one client, Rod Tidwell, who provides him with a simple standing instruction: show me the money. At times this week it seemed that Tidwell might become the unlikely poster boy for the broad cross-section of Irish society which forced AIB to reverse its decision to make 70 of its 170 branches cashless.

The lender had intended to deepen its existing relationship ...