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Armagh bank accused of ‘age discrimination’ as elderly lady leaves branch in tears

Bank of Ireland Armagh

An Armagh bank has been accused of age discrimination after an elderly lady reportedly left the city centre branch in tears.

A disgruntled customer wrote a strongly-worded letter to the Bank of Ireland management team highlighting what they described as a “terrible lack of empathy” from a staff member towards an elderly woman on Friday, September 8.

The letter, which was also posted to the Armagh I office, outlined how the customer was “saddened” and “dismayed” to witness an elderly lady being “dismissed” over her inability to use online banking.

The letter read: “The elderly lady was looking the customer service lady to help her pay a bill. She obviously had no cheque book and was needing assistance.

“The bank clerk immediately said ‘have you banking online?’. The elderly lady, who looked in her 80s, said, ‘no, I don’t understand all that’.

“The clerk said, ‘well you really should have banking online” and stressed the word should. Then her solution to this poor lady was to withdraw the cash and pay the bill in cash. I mean, where is the security in that? The elderly lady said she didn’t want to do that and wanted to prove payment. Then she was told to go and buy a banker’s draft at £10 and gestured her to queue again.

“The lady was a customer of the bank as she had her statement in her hand. I felt so sorry for her – the poor crater just walked out with tears in her eyes….I was so annoyed for her and she hasn’t left my thoughts all day.

“The [staff member] could have done more to help that poor wee lady if she just tried. She just dismissed her like she was a nobody.”

The bank said they are investigating the complaint.

A spokesperson for Bank of Ireland told Armagh I: “At Bank of Ireland UK, we strive to deliver the highest standards of service to our customers, especially elderly and vulnerable customers. We take customer feedback seriously and we will investigate this complaint raised.

“We are here to help customers access our full range of services, whether that is in branch, through our digital channels or at the Post Office.”

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