‘Decision to close bank is a massive blow’

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THE President of Ballyclare Chamber of Trade has described the announcement by Bank of Ireland that it is to close its Main Street branch as another massive blow for the town.

“This is again another massive blow to the town and the Chamber’s first thoughts are to the disruption caused to the staff of the branch and its regular customers. The loss of the bank on Main Street is unfortunately a sign of the times, with the increasing use of the internet affecting even banks through online banking and as a result less footfall in branches,” Darren Black told the Times.

“The Chamber will continue to work hard to make Ballyclare an attractive town that will hopefully encourage a new tenant sooner rather than later, as having another prominent building empty in the town will only damage the rest of the businesses.”

Councillor Pat McCudden said he was “shocked” by the bank’s decision to close the branch.

“This is another body blow for Ballyclare,” he commented. “Where will the customers go who will now have to change branch or have to find a new bank? It’s just more inconvenience for them.”

Echoing Mr Black’s concerns about the possibility of the building lying vacant, the Alliance councillor said he hoped a new tenant will be found quickly to fill the Main Street premises.