Ulster Bank confirms 22 closures
Ulster Bank has confirmed the location of the 22 branches and sub offices it will close throughout Ireland.
Eleven of the offices are located in the Republic, with five branches and six sub-offices to go. The remaining 11 are part of its Northern Ireland network.
Ulster Bank announced in January 2012 it would cut 950 jobs, with 600 positions lost in the Republic. It is not expected that any further job losses will come about as a result of today’s announcement.
Among those earmarked for closure by May include branches in Belturbet, Killeshandra and Kilnaleck in Co Cavan; Castlepollard in Co Westmeath; and Glenamaddy, Co Galway. Sub offices in Carrigallen and Swanlinbar in Co Cavan will also go, along with Delvin, Co Westmeath; Kilcormac, Co Offaly; Kilkelly, Co Mayo; and Rathangan, Co Kildare.
In Northern Ireland, branches in Carryduff, Jordanstown, and Knocjk, which are located near Belfast, will shut. Also on the list is Dromore in Co. Tyrone, Harryville near Ballymena, Longstone Street in Lisburn, and Shaftesbury Square in Belfast City, along with sub-offices in Ardglass, Co Down; Moy, Co Armagh; Rosslea, Co Fermanagh; and Saintfield in Co Down.
The offices are set to close by June this year. The bank has pledged not to shut any more branches this year.
General secretary of the IBOA Larry Broderick said the news would raise concerns for both customers and staff in these 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,” Mr Broderick said. “They are naturally concerned about any developments that might undermine customer confidence.”
Mr Broderick said the move created further concerns over the provision of rural banking services. AIB closed 44 branches in October, and National Irish Bank closed its 27 branch network last year.
"While each bank makes decisions in its own narrow interest, no one, it seems, is considering the bigger picture and particularly the impact on many rural areas where even the lesser alternative of online or mobile banking may be difficult due to connectivity problems," he said.