Bank of Ireland to shut nine branches

Bank of Ireland in Larne The Bank of Ireland in Larne is one of the branches closing

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The Bank of Ireland is to close nine of its smaller branches in Northern Ireland.

They will close by June, with their activities being taken over by larger branches. About 50 staff will be affected by the move.

The branches closing are: Ballyclare, Ballymoney, Carrickfergus, Kilkeel, Kilrea, Larne, Rathfriland.

In Londonderry, the Shipquay Street and Waterside branches will be merged with the bank's main branch at Strand Road.

This will reduce the number of Bank of Ireland UK branches in Northern Ireland from 44 to 35.

In a statement the bank said the branches which were closing accounted for about 7% of the business the bank conducts in Northern Ireland.

The staff affected by the closures and will either be redeployed to other branches or become eligible for existing redundancy programmes.

The bank's regional manager for Northern Ireland, Sean Sheehan, said that they were modernising the network in Northern Ireland.

"We also have to ensure that the network is cost-effective and fit for purpose," he said.

"We understand that closing branches is disappointing for those who use them but the volume of business at the branches involved means they are not sustainable in the long term. We will continue to service those customers through larger branches which are being modernised and upgraded."

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