Northern Ireland

Ulster Bank closing 10 more branches in Northern Ireland

Ulster Bank
Image caption Ulster Bank said the branch closures would not result in compulsory staff redundancies

Ulster Bank is to close another 10 branches in Northern Ireland.

The bank currently has 74 branches, whereas its nearest rival, Danske Bank, has 49.

Earlier this month, the bank's chief executive in Northern Ireland told the BBC's Inside Business that branch closures were inevitable.

Ellvena Graham said that was due to changing customer behaviour with more people banking online.

The closures are in line with proposals announced at an investor briefing 18 months ago.

They will not result in compulsory staff redundancies, though some agency jobs may be lost.

The bank is also to close 14 branches in the Republic of Ireland in March of next year, including Castleblayney and Clones in County Monaghan and Moville in County Donegal, two of the border counties.

The Irish Bank Officials Association told its members in a letter that the bank's management envisaged 47 job losses in the Republic of Ireland, "which it will seek to implement on a voluntary basis".

The Ulster Bank has no immediate plans for further closures.

Ulster Bank branches closing in Northern Ireland

  • Newcastle, County Down
  • Portstewart, County Londonderry
  • Tandragee, County Armagh
  • Aughnacloy, County Tyrone
  • Donaghadee, County Down
  • Gortin, County Tyrone
  • Newtownhamilton, County Armagh
  • Randalstown, County Antrim
  • Dundonald, County Down
  • Crumlin Road, north Belfast

Rachael Cray, Head of Money Affairs at the Consumer Council in Northern Ireland, said she was disappointed that 10 more Ulster Bank branches were scheduled to close.

Image caption The Irish Bank Officials Association outlined the planned Ulster Bank branch closures in a letter to members

"We are particularly concerned about the impact this Ulster Bank decision will have on its customers and businesses in the areas affected," she added.

"The majority of the closing branches are in rural communities where Ulster Bank has been the only bank or is the last bank in town.

"Despite an increase in online banking, our research shows that bank customers still want access to local services with 68% of consumers surveyed saying they had visited a bank branch at least once in the last month."

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