THE Ulster Unionist Assembly Candidate for Fermanagh South Tyrone, Rosemary Barton has hit out at the decision by Ulster Bank to cease Saturday morning opening.
She stated: “There is once again little or no thought given to its customers from the rural areas and surrounding towns and villages. Many people work in rural locations during the banking week and Saturday morning is the only available time for them to do business in the branch.”
She described the decision as ‘hugely disappointing’.
The bank’s Saturday morning closure will take effect from Saturday 14th May next.
Ulster Bank, in a statement, said: “We keep all of our products and services under continual review in response to customer demand. In line with this, from 14th May 2016 a number of Ulster Bank branches will no longer open on Saturdays.
“This change does not affect branch opening hours during the week. Customers will still be able to make use of our online, digital and telephone banking services.”
But, Mrs Barton, accused the bank of bad faith.
“Several years ago, when Ulster Bank were closing branches in our smaller towns, one of the incentives used was that in the larger towns, banking hours would be extended to include Saturday mornings in order to facilitate these closures.
“Now we learn that this will no longer be the case, which makes face-to -face banking difficult for many customers who are reliant on Saturday morning branch opening hours.
“This decision is hugely inconvenient and frustrating for the many Ulster Bank Customers in Fermanagh and South Tyrone.
“Furthermore, for those who could potentially use online banking, it is made hugely difficult, as in many rural areas, broadband is still too patchy and/or non-existent.
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Posted: 10:00 am April 23, 2016