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5. First Trust

  • Managing director: Des Moore
  • Pre-tax profit: £54m
  • Employment: 771

First Trust is a subsidiary of AIB in the Republic of Ireland, and has gone through major changes in recent years.

Within the last four years, its workforce in Northern Ireland has gone from 1,200 people to around 700. And its branch network has also shrunk, with the announcement in February of the closure of 15 more branches — around half of its network — between June and August this year. It said there had been a 40% decline in branch usage over the last seven years, while mobile phone usage had more than doubled in two years.