Ulster Bank to close 11 branches in the North

Ulster Bank has announced plans to close 11 branches in Northern Ireland in a move that will see 40 jobs lost.

The bank said the decision reflected the changing needs of customers, noting that more are using digital technology rather than visiting branches.

The banks that will close in May and June next year are Ballyclare, Dromore, Moira, Draperstown, Dungiven, Portrush, Killyleagh, Rathfriland, Castlederg, Irvinestown and Stewartstown.

Ulster Bank said it was committed to reduce staffing numbers through voluntary redundancies.

Sean Murphy, managing director of personal banking at Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland, said:

"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.

"Closing a branch is never an easy decision and one we do not take lightly."

He 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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