Belfast Telegraph

Ulster Bank closures: The 11 Northern Ireland branches to shut

By Jonathan Bell

The Ulster Bank is to close 11 branches across Northern Ireland.

The move, the bank said, was down to the "radical" change in banking and the increase in reliance on digital technology to carry out transactions.

The bank has said 40 jobs will be lost in the restructure. There will be 44 branches remaining open and its 'Bank on Wheels' service will be expanded to serve 17 locations.

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Sean Murphy, managing director, personal banking, Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland said: “Ulster Bank will close 11 branches in Northern Ireland in May and June 2018. Banking has changed radically in recent years.

"More and more of our customers are using digital technology and fewer are using our branch network. While we continue to keep our network under review in response to changing customer demand, we still have Northern Ireland’s largest bank branch network.

“As a result of this process, we will be seeking a reduction of 40 roles and we remain committed to managing this on a voluntary basis."

He added: "Closing a branch is never an easy decision and one we do not take lightly. Recognising that customers expect different services from their bank, we continue to invest in a range of channels to improve access in a sustainable way, such as our 24/7 telephone banking, online and mobile banking, and our services available through the Post Office. 

"Ulster Bank still has Northern Ireland’s only Bank on Wheels service, with new stops being added. We are also providing ongoing education for customers in how to make best use of these alternatives. We will also be introducing additional digital and community support roles to assist with this transition.

Those branches to close include Ballyclare, Dromore, Moira, Draperstown, Dungiven, Portrush, Killyleagh, Rathfriland, Castlederg, Irvinestown and Stewartstown.

Mr Murphy added: “In line with the industry-agreed UK protocol on branch closures, we are writing to customers of these branches to inform them of alternative branch locations in their area and the range of banking services available on their mobiles, online, telephone and in post offices. We are also communicating directly with staff in those affected branches.”

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