Belfast Telegraph

Bank allays job fears as more branches to close

By David Elliott

Northern Bank is set to close two of its branches in light of "changing consumer habits", it said yesterday.

Both the Donaghadee and the Ballyholme branches will close their doors for the last time in March, at the same time as the previously announced closures to the Portrush and Portstewart branches.

The move will see the total number of Northern's branches in Northern Ireland cut to 72 but won't result in any forced redundancies, the bank said. Employees will be offered voluntary redundancy or moved to other branches.

"No staff will be made redundant as a result of the branch closures," the bank said in a statement.

"Employees of both the closing branches, and the branches into which they will merge, have been offered the opportunity to apply for voluntary severance and voluntary early retirement."

Last year, Northern Bank closed six branches in Dundonald, on Belfast's Ormeau and Dargan Roads and in Crossgar, Rathfriland and Whitehead.

And it hasn't ruled out making more closures in the future.

"We are reviewing our branch network in view of changing consumer habits, and the many available alternatives that are becoming increasingly popular with our customers. It is likely there may be further branch closures in the year ahead," it warned.