Northern Ireland

Ulster Bank confirms closure of 22 branches in Ireland

Ulster Bank
Image caption Ulster Bank is the third-largest bank in Ireland

Twenty-two branches and sub-offices of the Ulster Bank are due to close across Ireland, the bank has confirmed.

Eleven are located in Northern Ireland and will close by June.

The branches are: Jordanstown; Longstone Street, Lisburn; Knock and Shaftesbury Square, Belfast; Harryville near Ballymena; Carryduff near Belfast and Dromore in County Tyrone.

The bank said there would be no additional job losses as a result of the announcement.

Another 11 branches will close in the Republic of Ireland.

Larry Broderick of the Irish Bank Officials Association said speculation had been mounting recently but the news would concern customers and staff in those areas.

"Staff throughout Ulster Bank have worked strenuously to restore the bank's reputation, especially in the wake of the catastrophic IT malfunction last year - which created major difficulties for hundreds of thousands of customers," he said.

"They are naturally concerned about any developments that might undermine customer confidence."

The following sub-offices are also due to close in Northern Ireland: Ardglass in County Down, Moy in County Tyrone, Rosslea in County Fermanagh and Saintfield in County Down.

The Republic of Ireland branches set to close are: Belturbet, County Cavan; Castlepollard, County Westmeath; Glenamaddy, County Galway; Killeshandra, County Cavan and Kilnaleck, County Cavan.

The following sub-offices to close are those in Carrigallen, County Cavan; Delvin, County Westmeath; Kilcormac, County Offaly; Kilkelly, County Mayo; Rathangan, County Kildare and Swanlinbar, County Cavan.

The Ulster Bank currently has 146 branches in the Republic of Ireland and 90 in Northern Ireland.

Last January, the bank announced it was planning to cut its workforce in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland by 950 staff.

It said 350 jobs would go in Northern Ireland while the remaining 600 would be lost in the Republic.

Ulster Bank, the third-largest bank in Ireland, is owned by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

In the first nine months of 2011 the bank wrote off more than £1bn in bad loans, mainly related to property.

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