Danske to cut 150 jobs - bank to focus on corporate and institutional clients
Danske Bank Ireland, formerly National Irish Banks, is to withdraw from the personal banking market in Ireland, resulting in the loss of 150 jobs.
The bank said the sale of personal and business banking products to new customers will be discontinued with immediate effect.
Day-to-day personal customer products and services will be withdrawn on a phased basis during the first six months of 2014.
The bank is to refocus its business in Ireland towards its corporate and institutional clients.
A statement from the bank said the decision was made against the backdrop of a difficult economic and trading environment "where the bank has been unable to re-establish a sustainable retail banking business model. "
It announced a loss before tax of €31.4m for the first nine months of 2013, impairment charges of €22.8m, a total income of €46.9m and costs of €55.5m.
It said in a statement released by the bank that from now on it would focus the Irish business towards corporate and institutional clients.
Larry Broderick, the head of the IBOA trade union, said the job losses would be compulsory.
"We are shocked at the decision and the lack of consultation with staff and customers. We would ask the bank to reconsider," he stated.
The news comes just one week after ACC announced it is leaving the Irish market.
The bank assured customers today that their deposits will be repaid in full.
It said that customers do not need to take any action today and the bank will contact them in the coming weeks to clarify the impact on the changes and that mortgages and personal loans will continue in line with existing terms and conditions.
Gerry Mallon, Head of Danske Bank UK & Ireland said in the statement: “The decision regarding the personal and business banking divisions is necessary to stem the losses that continue to accrue in those units. Against the backdrop of the difficult economic and trading environment in Ireland, the Bank has been unable to re-establish a sustainable retail banking business model.
"We appreciate that this announcement will be of concern to our personal and business customers. For existing personal customers there is no change until the first half of next year. We are writing to customers in the coming weeks and will be working with them to minimise the impact on their day to day banking needs.
"We acknowledge also the impact this will have on our staff. We will be working closely with them through this process and commencing the appropriate consultation immediately ”