Danske Bank to close Belfast and Bangor branches
Danske Bank has announced that it will be closing two branches in Belfast and Bangor later this year.
The Main Street, Bangor and Lisburn Road, Belfast branches will close on May 24.
There are currently five Danske Bank branches in the greater Belfast area.
Danske Bank is currently upgrading its other Bangor branch at Bloomfield Shopping Centre.
Richard Caldwell, Danske Bank’s managing director of personal banking & small business, said the closures were due to customers accessing banking in different ways, including online banking.
“The way customers use branches has changed significantly in recent years. Many are now choosing to use different ways to bank with us, such as digital or banking on the telephone. As a business, we must respond to these changes, therefore priorities for investment will adapt and change,” he said.
“Sometimes this can mean investing more in certain key branches. Through transformational upgrades, we have invested over £3 million in key local branches over the past two years. This development programme will continue in 2019 - for example we are currently upgrading our other branch in Bangor at Bloomfield Shopping Centre”.
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“On other occasions, unfortunately it means taking hard decisions to close certain branches that are being underused. We do not take such decisions lightly”.
SDLP Botanic representative Gary McKeown expressed concern at news of the closure of the Lisburn Road branch.
"For many people, especially those with mobility issues or a lack of access to transport, banks in their local community provide an essential service. This closure means than access will not only be restricted for these customers, but will also have an impact on local businesses," Mr McKeown said.
"At a time when many small shops and services are struggling, the presence of banks in our communities helps draw people in and encourages them to spend money locally.
"This bank closure on the Lisburn Road will be a disappointing blow for residents and businesses owners in the area, so I am urging people to rally round and continue to shop and spend time in the area to support the local economy and community."
After the closures on May 24 Danske Bank will have a network of 40 branches across Northern Ireland.
Scott Kennerley of the Consumer Council urged customers to check if the new arrangements will meet their banks needs.
"Whilst some consumers are comfortable accessing banking services via the internet, through apps, and over the phone; it is important to remember there are still many people, and small businesses, who continue to rely on face-to-face banking services," he said.
"Before these latest closures we would advise customers to liaise with the branch and discuss their banking needs and alternative options available.
"If visiting a branch is still important to you, there might be alternative banking options available in your area, including accessing banking services at the Post Office. See our financial services maps available on our website www.consumercouncil.org.uk."
Belfast Telegraph Digital