Ulster Bank to shut local branches

Ulster Bank, Main Street, Moira. Pic by Google
Ulster Bank, Main Street, Moira. Pic by Google

Ulster Bank has announced plans to close 11 branches, including those in Moira, Dromore and Rathfriland.

The 11 branches are due to close in May or June next year with the loss of around 40 jobs.

Ulster Bank, Church Street, Dromore. Pic by Google

Ulster Bank, Church Street, Dromore. Pic by Google

The other branches facing closure are Ballyclare, Draperstown, Dungiven, Portrush, Killyleagh, Castlederg, Irvinestown and Stewartstown.

According to the bank, the Dromore branch is due to close on June 19, while the Moira branch will shut on June 26.

Sean Murphy, Managing Director, Personal Banking, Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland said: “Banking has changed radically in recent years. More and more of our customers are using digital technology and fewer are using our branch network. While we continue to keep our network under review in response to changing customer demand, we still have Northern Ireland’s largest bank branch network.

“As a result of this process, we will be seeking a reduction of 40 roles and we remain committed to managing this on a voluntary basis.”

He continued: “Closing a branch is never an easy decision and one we do not take lightly. Recognising that customers expect different services from their bank, we continue to invest in a range of channels to improve access in a sustainable way, such as our 24/7 telephone banking, online and mobile banking, and our services available through the Post Office.

“In line with the industry-agreed UK protocol on branch closures, we are writing to customers of these branches to inform them of alternative branch locations in their area and the range of banking services available on their mobiles, online, telephone and in post offices. We are also communicating directly with staff in those affected branches.”

Reacting to the news, Lagan Valley MLA Edwin Poots said the closures will be “a serious inconvenience for businesses and personal account holders.”

Mr Poots, whose account with the Dromore branch dates back to the 1950s, added: “I know this is a difficult situation, but I will be contacting Ulster Bank to discuss this and asking them to reconsider.”