AIB will start consultations on outsourcing the functions of its clearing department to a company called BancTec in the New Year.

It is understood that 90 staff will transfer to BancTec from March 1st next year and will operate from AIB's office in Adelaide Road.

AIB said any outsourcing - as part of its restructuring plan - would be considered in consultation with staff and with the Irish Bank Officials Association.

Finance union, the IBOA, said it will negotiate with both the bank and BancTec on the terms and conditions of any staff who move to new positions at BancTec or stay at AIB, so they will be in line with recent terms on outsourcing agreed at the Labour Relations Commission.

The union said it is also going to raise concerns with regulatory authorities about the potential implications of the growing trend towards outsourcing in the financial services sector.