Bank of Ireland to close eight Northern Ireland branches

Photo: Getty

Michael Cogley

Bank of Ireland is to cut 20pc of its branch network in Northern Ireland reducing its number of outlets in the North to 28 from 36.

The bank said its branch network in the Republic won’t be affected by the cuts.

It is understood 54 roles have been affected by the cuts, however the bank said those employed at the branches can transfer, redeploy or relocate to other roles within the bank or apply for voluntary redundancy.

Bank of Ireland said the volume of business in the branches is insufficient to sustain them. The branches account for around 6pc of the bank’s business in the North.

The bank’s Northern Ireland consumer and small business regional director Sean Sheehan said the decision was not taken lightly.

“A key priority will be to ensure customers understand the alternative arrangements available, and to maintain continuity of customer service.

“We are responding to the continuing shift in customer behaviour towards increased use of digital and online channels, and the changes announced today will put us in the best position to continue to support our customers’ changing needs and grow our business in the future,” he said.

Financial Services Union general secretary Larry Broderick challenged the bank’s plan to close the branches, describing it as “a kick in the teeth” for both customers and staff located in Northern Ireland.