AIB has announced a number of new branch openings, the first such openings since the financial crisis.

The lender, in common with its peers, has very much been in retrenchment mode in recent years, closing or amalgamating dozens of branches. 

Employee numbers at the bank are more than 2,000 lower than at the peak of the boom.

The three outlets, which will open at the end of October, will be located at Grand Canal Dock and Carrickmines Retail Park in Dublin and Little Island in Cork.

The new branches will have extended opening hours during the week and the Dublin locations will also open at weekends. 

AIB's chief executive Bernard Byrne said the new branches mark another important milestone in the bank's strategy. 

"Over the past number of years, AIB has transformed its business to be more focussed on customer needs, with flexible banking hours, the latest in in-branch technologies and significant improvements in mobile and online banking," Mr Byrne said .

For the first time in three years we are expanding our branch network and we will continue investing in our branches nationwide," he added.

Earlier this week the bank repaid €3.7m to business customers who had been overcharged.