Ulster Bank increases number of branches that will shut to 22
ULSTER Bank has increased the number of branches it is closing to 22 – half of them in the Republic, with the other 11 in the North.
Six hundred jobs will be lost when branches in the South shut by May this year. The total is made up of five branches and six smaller sub-offices. The 11 in the North will close by June, with the loss of 350 jobs.
The bank had said earlier this month that it was closing 20 branches.
All of the 22 branches are set to be closed by the summer – exactly a year since Ulster Bank was paralysed when its computer system crashed.
Banking union the Irish Bank Officials Association (IBOA) said it was not expected that any further job losses would come about as a result of the increase in closures.
The bank defended the fact that four of the outlets to go are located in Cavan, an area long considered a jobs blackspot.
It said the decision to close branches was taken on the basis of where the lowest footfall was and what it called low-transaction branches.
Ulster Bank said that even after the Cavan closures, it will have five branches in Co Cavan.
"Once the branches have closed, there will still be three Ulster Bank branches close to each of the closing branches," a spokeswoman said.
Among those earmarked for closure by May are branches in Belturbet, Killeshandra and Kilnaleck in Co Cavan; Castlepollard in Co Westmeath; and Glenamaddy in Co Galway.
Sub-offices in Carrigallen, Co Leitrim and Swanlinbar in Co Cavan will also go, along with Delvin, Co Westmeath; Kilcormac, Co Offaly; Kilkelly, Co Mayo; and Rathangan, Co Kildare.
In the North, branches in Carryduff, Jordanstown, and Knock, which are located near Belfast, will shut.
Also on the list is Dromore in Co Tyrone; Harryville near Ballymena; Longstone Street in Lisburn; and Shaftesbury Square in Belfast city, along with sub-offices in Ardglass, Co Down; Moy, Co Armagh; Rosslea, Co Fermanagh; and Saintfield in Co Down.
The IBOA said it would be meeting members in the affected locations as well as the bank's senior management in the coming days. General secretary Larry Broderick said: "They are naturally concerned about any developments that might undermine customer confidence."