The Bank of Ireland branch in Belleek will be among eight branches in the North to shut later this year, it has been confirmed.
Belleek will close along with Castlereagh, Draperstown, Antrim, Castlederg, Newtownards, Maghera and 1 Donegall Square South, Belfast (City Hall branch).
Announcing the news this morning, the bank said the volume of business in the branches that are to close was “insufficient to sustain them in the long term”. Staff affected will be able to transfer, redeploy or relocate to other roles within the bank or apply for voluntary redundancy. The eight branches will close on a phased basis starting in the late autumn of this year.
Bank of Ireland says it will write to individual customers affected by these changes at least 60 days before their branch closes.
The bank’s branch network in the Republic is not affected by the announcement. The branch closures mean that Belleek is losing its last remaining bank.
Erne North SDLP Councillor John Coyle told the Herald this lunchtime that the local wider community has been left totally angered and shocked by the news.
“This is the only bank left in Belleek and the decision to close it is depriving people of a vital service. Our nearest branch will now be in Enniskillen and we don’t have sufficient public transport links in the area to accomodate customers. This is just totally unacceptable in a rural area,” he said.
The Financial Services Union (FSU) says it will challenge Bank of Ireland’s plan and commence negotiations with the bank tomorrow (Thursday).
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