AIB has begun informing customers in some of its branches that their accounts are to be moved ahead of closures.
The bank announced in December that, following a strategic review of its operations, it would be reducing its workforce, vacating three of its six Dublin head offices and merging overlapping branches in three urban locations in the first six months of 2021.
In Dublin, AIB’s Westmoreland Street operations will move to its Dame Street branch; the Crumlin Cross branch to Crumlin Road; and 52 Baggot Street to 1-4 Baggot Street.
Outside the capital, Eyre Square will move to Lynch’s Castle in Galway; and the Patrick Street branch in Cork city to 66 South Mall.
“We will communicate details to our customers to ensure a seamless transition to the new arrangements,” the bank said at the time.
The move comes on the back of an announcement by Bank of Ireland that it is to cut its branch network by a third.
Bank of Ireland cited a seismic shift to digital banking during the Covid pandemic as it announced plans to close 103 branches across Ireland from September in a move that drew sharp criticism from unions and politicians.
Over 500 closures
The latest announcements will bring the total number of branch closures across banks and building societies in the Republic since the onset of the financial crisis to more than 500, with a further 88 under threat as Ulster Bank winds down its operations in the coming years.
The decision by Ulster Bank, the third-biggest lender in the State, is the most significant development in the banking market since the height of the financial crisis.
The group's parent, NatWest, said on Friday that it would begin a "phased withdrawal from the Republic of Ireland over the coming years that will be managed in an orderly and considered manner". Ulster Bank Limited's banking business in Northern Ireland is unaffected.
Ulster Bank, led by chief executive Jane Howard, has a net loan book of €20 billion and almost €22 billion of deposits, some 1.1 million personal and business customers, and 88 branches.
It has about a 15 per cent share of the mortgage market, 20 per cent of small business lending and a strong corporate banking business – making its exit much more significant than any of the other overseas banks that have retrenched from the State since the financial crisis.