Posts Tagged ‘Central Bank’

A Sliding Door moment for AIB

July 22, 2022

This week AIB announced 70 of its 170 branches would be turned into cashless outlets. The dogs in the street knew it was going to create havoc and a lot of negative publicity. It did…..

After the announcement, the Central Bank has suggested that AIB reverse their decision, even the Taoiseach on a state visit to Asia has suggested the same, and they have been “invited” to appear in front of the Oireachtas Finance Committee to explain themselves.

Looking at it from a reputation management point of view, AIB – you get 0 out of 10!! Afterwards, a half hearted statement came out from the bank, mentioning their future plans with An Post.

Looking at the AIB Press Office microsite, there is a press release announcing this partnership published Sunday 17th July. Two days before the cashless announcement, coming across as very cynical timing.

And speaking of timing, this morning when it’s wall to wall negative publicity for AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB have announced that they will not be passing on the ECB interest rate hike to its variable and fixed rate customers. 10 out of 10 for timing – basically they are saying “when the competition goes low, we go high”.

Note: The state retains ownership of 71% of AIB!

The Sliding Door Moment…
For me as a loyal AIB customer for over 20 years and as a communications specialist, AIB’s decision this week comes across as so cynical and ill thought out, and certainly with zero consideration of their customers in the areas affected.

I wonder how different it would be if they instead worked more on the partnership with An Post, celebrated it, communicated good news stories on the collaboration and built up “a bank” (pardon the pun) of positive stories, before they made this contentious announcement. This would at least nurture some trust and understanding for the decision, as they would bring customers, staff, politicians and even the Central Bank on the journey with them.

Looking from the outside in, with so much negativity, it looks like AIB did none of this.

The lesson – we all have Sliding Door Moments in our business – if decisions you are making could affect the way your team, your customers, media, stakeholders or the general public think of you, please get sound advice on how to communicate these changes.

Backing Brave?

Deirdre

Deirdre Waldron is the founding partner of Fuzion Communications and she heads up Strategic Communications and Crisis Communications at the agency, that operates from offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland


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