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Bank of Ireland to provide update on NI branch closures after reports of 'significant' restructuring

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Bank of Ireland plans to cut more than 1,400 posts

Bank of Ireland plans to cut more than 1,400 posts

Bank of Ireland plans to cut more than 1,400 posts

The Bank of Ireland has said it will provide an update on branch closures in Northern Ireland after reports it is to "significantly" scale back its operation.

Monday's Irish Times reported the bank is considering a revamp of its operations in NI although it would still maintain a local presence.

The bank has 28 branches across Northern Ireland and has been engaged in a review since August last year. It said "all options" were being considered for its retail business.

Sources told The Irish Times a number of NI branches are to close as part of a cost-cutting plan to reshape the business. They indicated this could mean more focus on business banking as opposed to personals as its market share was greater among the business sector.

They said a final decision had not been made and the matter may not be determined by the end of year results.

The bank is one of Ireland's 'big four' institutions. It has around 10,000 staff across its UK and Ireland operations.

It has been reported to be considering cutting its workforce by 1,400 to below 9,000. In 2008 the bank had 16,000 staff.

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A Bank of Ireland UK spokesperson said: "The strategic review is ongoing and, as previously stated, we will provide an update at full year results."

The bank has previously said the UK marketplaces competitiveness, low interest rates and Covid-19 had hampered trading.

Speaking to the Dublin-based Sunday Business Post, Bank of Ireland chief executive Francesca McDonagh last year said they had did not have a "prejudged assumption of the outcome of the review".

"That is work we are doing in the coming months and we will give an update with our result in the new year.

"We regularly do strategic reviews of our businesses to invest in and in others we cut back.

"The likelihood of us allocating more capital to Northern Ireland is less probable."

Ms McDonagh said the bank would be concentrating on reducing costs.

The full year results are expected to be released on March 1.


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