Most of the branches impacted are in Dublin and Cork and the amalgamations will begin on a phased basis from September and be completed by December.

The bank says there will be no compulsory redundancies arising from the decision. Around 100 staff work in the 15 branches concerned.

It says customers do not need to take any action and will be communicated with in due course.

AIB is also in the process of extending its partnership with An Post, which allows customers to carry out cash services in 900 post offices.

The lender says the move to close branches is a response to increased customer digital usage and declining branch visits and follows a strategic review.

Last week the company announced it was to close more than half of its 15 branches in Northern Ireland for similar reasons.

In December it also said it would amalgamate five overlapping branches in three urban locations in the Republic of Ireland.

Despite today’s announcement, the bank said it is committed to its branch network, the largest in the country.

“We remain committed to maintaining a strong presence in the communities we serve throughout Ireland, and we will continue to do so with over 170 branches,” said Jim O’Keeffe, AIB Managing Director of Retail Banking.

“However, inevitably and in line with the evolution of banking and customer needs, we are seeing a requirement to evolve our services to customers.”

It said the move would ensure a sustainable future for its remaining branch network at a time of negative interest rates and competition from non-bank lenders.

The lender claims the shift to digital banking has been speeded up by the Covid-19 pandemic, and customers are now interacting with its digital app more than 1.54m times a day.

It said currently customers make 35,000 daily branch visits, down from 50,000 two years ago.

AIB’s decision to downsize its branch network follows the announcement by Bank of Ireland earlier this year that it plans to close 103 branches in the Republic of Ireland and in the north.

Reacting to the news, the Financial Services Union (FSU) said the decision must be reversed.

“We will exit the pandemic without a functioning bank branch network and with local communities and small businesses bereft of vital banking facilities” says John O’Connell, General Secretary of the Financial Services Union.

“The branch network is being destroyed without a word of concern expressed by the Governor of the Central Bank who has responsibility for consumer protection.”

He said the union is calling on the Governor to immediately meet with both AIB and Bank of Ireland and ask them to pause any branch closures until society and the economy reopens and a full debate occurs on the future of Banking in Ireland.

Mr O’Connell added that the Minister for Finance and the Central Bank Governor need to tell the lenders that their actions are undermining the chances of a successful reopening of the economy and are causing enormous levels of stress to staff, businesses and local communities.

The full list of the AIB branches that are closing and where they are moving to is below:

Amalgamating Branch Date Accounts Moving to
College Road 24-Sep-2021 Western Road
Donnybrook 24-Sep-2021 Ranelagh
Blackrock Road 24-Sep-2021 66 South Mall
Sutton 01-Oct-2021 Raheny
Little Island 08-Oct-2021 Midleton
Sandyford 15-Oct-2021 Stillorgan
North Main Street 22-Oct-2021 66 South Mall
Skerries 29-Oct-2021 Balbriggan
Ennis Road 05-Nov-2021 106 O’Connell Street
Douglas Court 12-Nov-2021 Douglas Road
Golden Island 19-Nov-2021 Athlone
Ballyphehane 26-Nov-2021 66 South Mall
Dalkey 03-Dec-2021 Dun Laoghaire
37/38 O’Connell Street 03-Dec-2021 Capel Street
Newcastle Road 10-Dec-2021 Lynch’s Castle