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We deserve better from our banks

MORE than 130 bank branches have closed since the bailout of 2008. Permanent TSB is the latest institution to announce a raft of closures, with 16 branches set to be axed.

This follows existing Anglo Irish Bank and National Irish Bank branch closures, with similar changes mooted at Ulster Bank and EBS.

Irish banks once trumpeted the strength of their personal service, but, as most people have realised since the crash, the banker is no longer the customer's friend.

Branch closures are more than just an inconvenience.

For many -- particularly the elderly and those who are not internet-savvy -- remote banking is a source of considerable stress.

As banks provide even less of a service to their customers, taxpayers are now entitled to ask exactly why they are being asked to plough billions of euros into bailing them out.