Lurgan bank spared the axe

Caption: �Matt Mackey/Presseye.com - Press Eye Ltd -Northern Ireland -

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As many as 130 jobs will be lost as First Trust Bank closes half of its branches in Northern Ireland in 2017.

On Wednesday, it said it was starting a "reshaping and investment programme" involving the "consolidation of First Trust Bank's branch network" with the closure of 15 of its 30 branches.

The Financial Service Union (FSU) said up to 130 jobs are at risk.

The union's Larry Broderick said he had received an assurance there would be no compulsory redundancies.

First Trust, which is owned by Dublin-based AIB, is one of the so-called "big four" banks in Northern Ireland.

Caption: �Matt Mackey/Presseye.com - Press Eye Ltd -Northern Ireland - File Image As many as 130 jobs will be lost as First Trust Bank closes half of its branches in Northern Ireland in 2017. On Wednesday, it said it was starting a "reshaping and investment programme" involving the "consolidation of First Trust Bank's branch network" with the closure of 15 of its 30 branches. The Financial Service Union (FSU) said up to 130 jobs are at risk. The union's Larry Broderick said he had received an assurance there would be no compulsory redundancies. First Trust, which is owned by Dublin-based AIB, is one of the so-called "big four" banks in Northern Ireland.

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The First Trust Bank in Lurgan has been spared the axe following a review of branches.

However, the branch in Portadown is to close on August 4 with the business moving to Lurgan.

Head of First Trust Bank, Des Moore said: “Since 2010 we have seen almost a 40% decline in branch usage coupled with a 117% increase in mobile transactions over the past two years and we have had to make the difficult decision to close a number of branches.

“We will be working hard to minimise the impact on the customers and staff concerned.”

The transformation programme will involve the consolidation of First Trust Bank’s branch network with the closure of 15 branches in 2017, as well as a significant £10m investment strategy for personal and business customers, including five new business centres across the province.

The bank has also agreed a partnership with the Post Office that will enable customers to conduct their everyday banking transactions in any of the 500 Post Offices across Northern Ireland.

To support and minimise any inconvenience through the transition, the Bank will write to impacted customers in advance to tell them how to use alternative branches, services and transact at the Post Office.

Branch staff will be available to help and advise, and customers can also telephone the dedicated helpline 0345 600 3749 9am–5pm.