I was recently talking to a friend of mine and he was telling me about the difficulties he faced in trying to get his bank to issue an Irish language cheque book. When he finally got them to issue the cheque book, the ‘Ã“’ in his name was missing the fada!
Anyway, this got me thinking…which is dangerous in itself.
I decided to write to all the major banks asking them if they had any Irish language policy in place or what they could offer me in terms of banking as gaeilge.
Some of the replies were PFO’s but some were encouraging. I went under my pen name ‘Martina Mary O’Connor’ and the initial email I sent went as follows:
To Whom It May Concern:
I am not currently banking with your firm but am considering moving from my own bank as I don’t feel they are providing me with the service I require.
I have looked at your firm and am happy with the financial services you provide and that they would meet my needs. The only thing I couldn’t find out about was if you have any Irish language policy in place. One of the main reasons I have decided to leave my own bank was because they could not or would not accommodate my request for correspondence etc through Irish.
So my question to you is, do you have any policy or arrangements in place for customers who want to do their banking through Irish? I managed to get my current bank to issue me an Irish language cheque book, but that is as far as they went.
I would of course be more likely to join a bank which could accommodate my request in some way.
Thanks for your time
Martina Mary O’Connor
The replies were varied and are listed below.
Bank Of Ireland
- Customer Care Unit
Dear Ms O’Connor
Thank you for your email to the Bank of Ireland Customer Care Unit.
The majority of the banking processes are done through the English Language.
Some Bank of Ireland ATMs have an Irish Language facility on them.
Cheque book can be issued in the Irish language.
Our branches in the Gaeltacht region do have Irish speakers working in them. If you would like me to enquire as to which branches would be best to accomodate your banking requirements please do not hesitate to contact me.
Customer Care Unit
-Bank of Ireland 365 Online
Dear Ms. O’Connor,
Thank you for your email.
Bank of Ireland do not currently have an Irish language policy in place. However, we have passed your comments to our Development Team who will consider all suggestions received in our future developments.
Customer feedback is greatly appreciated by us in Bank of Ireland.
Thank you for taking the time to email us with your comments and suggestions.
Bank of Ireland 365 Online