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Ulster Bank announces 20 branch closures

Story by Tom Kelly

Thursday, 3rd January, 2013 2:53am

Ulster Bank announces 20 branch closures

Ulster Bank are to close 20 branches this year across the whole of the country as part of a service review by the bank.

Ulster Bank, which has 146 outlets in the Republic of Ireland and 90 outlets in the North is to close in the region of 20 branches this year across the whole of the country as part of a major service review by the bank.

Last year Ulster Bank announced it would be seeking 950 redundancies from its 6,000 strong workforce in Ireland, with 500 of those earmarked for the bank's retail division.

Ulster Bank serves around 1.9 million personal and business customers through 236 outlets and has a business banking presence in every county, including Ballyconnell, Ballyjamesduff, Belturbet, Cavan Town, Cootehill, Killeshandra and Kilnaleck in this county.

In a statement released by the bank this afternoon, the Ulster Bank said it will close "in the region" of 20 branches and sub-offices in Ireland this year. It said it will provide further details on the closures to customers and employees within the next few weeks.

Royal Bank of Scotland, which owns Ulster Bank has injected at least £10.8 billion into the bank since 2008 to absorb losses after it was left severely exposed to the property market downturn.

RBS acquired Ulster Bank in 2000 as part of its purchase of National Westminster Bank and expanded three years later through the acquisition of the First Active building society.

Ulster Bank's operating loss also widened in the first nine months of last year to £797m from £751m the same time in 2011.

The Irish Bank Officials' Association will meet with the bank executives next week, having learned of the closures during a staff conference call last week.

Unions representing bank workers are also planning to meet with executives of the bank seeking clarifications.

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