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Ulster Bank to lay off 53 staff in Northern Ireland

Ulster Bank

Ulster Bank is to lay off 266 staff across the island as the pandemic pushes more transactions online and lenders seek to cut costs in an era of ultra-low interest rates.

The bank said 53 of the job losses would be in Northern Ireland, with 213 in the Republic.

The reductions will be achieved through voluntary redundancies, where possible. It said it is removing vacancies, while some of the job losses will be accounted for by the ending of some fixed term roles, as well as operational changes.

However, 28 of 57 new roles that are also being created will be in Northern Ireland.

An Ulster Bank spokesperson said: “We have announced the next phase of our programme to reduce our costs which includes operational changes and a reduction of 266 roles, which we aim to achieve on a voluntary redundancy basis, where possible.

“A small number of roles have also been created. We know this is difficult news for our colleagues and we are doing everything we can to support those affected by the changes.”

There has been a strong migration to online banking across all banks since coronavirus took hold in March.

Banks are also seen to be looking at branch closures and job cuts due to a squeeze on interest rate margins. That is the difference between the average rates at they fund themselves and the rates they lend to customers.

Customers have been ramping up savings at a time when the banks already have too much in deposits and face negative rates when placing excess cash with the European Central Bank.

Banks are also bracing for huge defaults on business and mortgage loans due to the pandemic.

They are also being impact by the rapid growth of money apps Revolut and N26.

Belfast Telegraph