BOI to close 10 local branches

The announcement of which branches were to close was made public this morning only after staff affected were informed.

Bank of Ireland is to close 10 local services as part of a decision to close 103 branches nationwide.

The move, the bank claims, has been prompted by the acceleration by the public in embracing digital and online banking.

Branches in Arva, Cootehill and Kingscourt will close in Cavan.

In Monagha, branches in Castleblayney and Clones will shut.

Elsewhere in the region, branches in Granard in Longford, Castlepollard in Westmeath, and Athboy in Meath will also close.

In neighbouring Co Leitrim, the Bank of Ireland in Manorhamilton has also been earmarked for closure.

In Northern Ireland, Bank of Ireland will shut its branch in Lisnaskea.

The announcement of which branches were to close was made public this morning only after staff affected were informed.

As a result of the closures, the Bank of Ireland branch network in the Republic of Ireland will be reduced by 88 to 169.

In Northern Ireland 15 branches will close, leaving 13 open.

To assist the change, Bank of Ireland says it had agreed a new partnership with An Post. This will offer Bank of Ireland customers banking retail services at more than 900 An Post locations across Ireland.

This will include withdrawing cash and making cash and cheque lodgements.

Bank of Ireland has disclosed an underlying loss of €374 million for 2020 that reflects the large losses it made on impaired loans during the Covid financial crisis, although the lender said it had returned to profitability in the second half of the year.

In a statement this morning, the bank said no branches will close in the next six months with the closures set to begin from September.

The move comes as its business has “reached a tipping point between online and offline banking," Bank of Ireland said.

“The branches closing are predominately self-service locations which do not offer a counter service,” the bank added.

It is the second major blow to the local banking retail landscape in as many weeks after Ulster Bank signalled it is to exit the Republic of Ireland market.

Ulster Bank will eventually close its remaining three branches in Co Cavan, as well as others in Monaghan Town, Longford, Mullingar and Navan. Its understood that some of these branches may be saved under a different brand in the future as part of ongoing negotiations.

The branches being closed by Bank of Ireland are predominately those which are self-service locations. They are due to close from the end of September.

The Financial Services Union says Bank of Ireland's decision to close branches across the island of Ireland will hurt vulnerable people the most.

“The announcement this morning by Bank of Ireland to close 103 branches will shock both staff and customers alike,” said John O'Connell, General Secretary, speaking to RTÉ.

“How can Bank of Ireland think it is appropriate to make this announcement when the country is in the middle of a pandemic. It is a shameful act which needs to be reversed,” he stated.