IBOA disappointed as Ulster Bank confirms branch closures
on 16/01/2013 12:12:34
The bank has today announced the locations that will close their doors.
Eleven of them are branches and sub-offices in the North, with the remainder located in counties Cavan, Westmeath, Galway, Offaly, Mayo and Kildare.
Five branches and sub-offices in Cavan are affected.
General Secretary Larry Broderick said that even though speculation had been mounting in recent weeks, today's announcement by Ulster Bank management specifying the number and locations of the branches earmarked for closure will raise a number of 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," he said.
"They are naturally concerned about any developments that might undermine customer confidence."
Branches in the North that are set to close are: Carryduff near Belfast, Dromore in Co Tyrone, Harryville near Ballymena, Jordanstown near Belfast, Knock near Belfast, Longstone Street in Lisburn, and Shaftesbury Square in Belfast City; together with the following sub-offices: Ardglass in Co Down, Moy in Co Armagh. Rosslea in Co Fermanagh and Saintfield in Co Down.
The Republic of Ireland branches set to close are: Belturbet (Co Cavan), Castlepollard (Co Westmeath); Glenamaddy (Co Galway), Killeshandra (Co Cavan) and Kilnaleck (Co Cavan), together with the following sub-offices: Carrigallen (Co Cavan), Delvin (Co Westmeath), Kilcormac (Co Offaly), Kilkelly (Co Mayo), Rathangan (Co Kildare) and Swanlinbar (Co Cavan).
The IBOA has welcomed the Bank's commitment that no further branch closures are planned for 2013 as well as confirmation that no additional job losses will be necessary beyond the figure of 950 which was announced last year.
The IBOA will be meeting members in the affected locations as well as the bank's senior management in the coming days.
"Apart from the inconvenience which this development will cause to the customers of Ulster Bank in the affected locations, there is a more worrying dimension in terms of the provision of banking services in rural areas," said Mr Broderick.
"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.
"Given its pivotal role in terms of the ownership and regulation of the banking sector, the Irish Government is the best placed to consider the bigger picture.
"IBOA is seeking a meeting with the Republic's Minister for Finance to discuss future banking strategy for Ireland.
"In view of the unprecedented and potentially far-reaching change taking place throughout the financial services sector, our members are increasingly alarmed at what they see as an absence of the necessary co-ordination and coherence to deliver the optimum outcome for customers, the State and the staff in the restoration of an effective banking system."