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Bank of Ireland sees profit in catering for migrant workers

5th July 2005
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Bank of Ireland has launched a new domestic program to address the needs of migrant worker customers. The Irish financial services organization is to offer initiatives to overcome language barriers, in order to boost its share of the rapidly developing customer demographic.



From August 2 this year each of Bank of Ireland's 287 branches around the country will provide key literature for migrant customers, initially in three languages - Mandarin, Polish and Russian. The bank will also extend its number of bilingual branch staff to complement the Polish, Chinese and Russian speakers already in place in several of its Dublin branches.

Bank of Ireland estimates that there are 230,000 migrant workers currently living and working in the Irish Republic, representing approximately 6% of the total population. By 2020 it is estimated that the number of immigrants in Ireland will have grown to at least 10% of the total population. Consequently the migrant sector of the workforce is set to become a significant area for growth, particulary in terms of personal bank accounts.

Announcing the initiative, Brendan Nevin, Bank of Ireland's director of Strategy & Marketing, said: "Bank of Ireland has witnessed rapid high growth in the number of migrant worker customers banking with us in recent times, but primarily since the entry of the new accession states to the EU. Some of our branches estimate that migrant workers account for up to 70% of new accounts opened in the last 12 months."

"Our aim is to continue to enhance our offering in the months and years ahead and we intend to review how to make our internet and phone banking services more accessible for these customers."

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