Belfast Telegraph

Danske shuts two more branches as staff are relocated

By Margaret Canning

Danske Bank has announced it is closing branches in two towns in Co Londonderry.

The bank said the branches in Maghera and Dungiven were instead merging with branches in Magherafelt and Limavady in November.

Staff in Maghera and Dungiven will be relocated to other roles, the bank added.

In June the Danish-owned lender announced it would be closing two branches in Holywood and Shankill Road, west Belfast, in September and moving customers to its Belfast city centre headquarters.

Its latest closures will leave Danske Bank with around 48 branches in Northern Ireland, compared to 95 in 2003.

Tony Wilcox, Danske Bank's managing director of personal banking, said customers were visiting branches less frequently.

"Consumer behaviour in an increasingly digital world is changing the face of traditional banking.

"Customers now visit branches less frequently and many are using other convenient ways to bank.

"To keep pace with these changes we continue to increase our investment in alternative banking channels such as telephone banking, online banking and mobile banking."

He said he "fully" understood that the news of closures would disappoint some customers of the bank but said Danske remained "committed to their needs". He added: "I have written to all of our Dungiven and Maghera branch customers to assure them of this commitment."

SDLP councillor Michael Coyle, who lives in Dungiven, said the closure in the town was disappointing for customers.

"For small businesses who need to lodge money, it's going to mean a 22-mile round trip to Dungiven to the (Ulster) bank there."

He added: "It's sad to see the bank closing down, as it's been part of the community. It means we'll just have an Ulster Bank in Dungiven."

He said there was a lack of awareness among some customers that they could also use the Post Office for banking transactions.

Danske Bank recently announced profits of £45m in its Northern Ireland operations over the first half of 2014.

Belfast Telegraph