Business Irish

Monday 20 November 2017

Ulster keeps all branches open in new pledge to customers

ULSTER Bank said it will keep all 236 branches open and start opening around a sixth of its branches on Saturdays.

The bank made the pledge yesterday as it unveiled a list of commitments to customers and staff. The bank also plans to begin texting customers to help them reduce current account charges and to "do everything" to ensure customers wait less than five minutes in branches. The bank will begin Saturday openings in cities and towns.

"Through extensive research carried out by the bank, we've listened to thousands of consumers, taken on board their suggestions and responded with these commitments which we hope will begin to address many banking concerns," said bank official Mike Bamber. "We are doing this because we recognise that banks need to change and we want to put the priorities of our customers at the heart of what we do."

The pledge not to close any more branches follows the bank's decision to shut First Active, the Ulster Bank-owned building society last year, changes to staff pensions and the 1,000 job cuts from a staff of 6,000 in the Republic and Northern Ireland.

The bank's progress in meeting the customer commitments will be checked by auditors Deloitte.

Other pledges made yesterday are more mundane and include promises that staff will be "helpful and knowledgeable", implement a system that makes it easier to open an account, plans to help people in debt, clear communication, more automatic teller machines and free financial information.

Irish Independent

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