Disappointment over ‘shock’ bank closure

Marked for closure, Northern Bank in Glengormley. INNT 35-022-FP
Marked for closure, Northern Bank in Glengormley. INNT 35-022-FP

THE GLENGORMLEY Traders’ Association has said it was disappointed with the Northern Bank’s “shock” decision to close its branch in the town.

The branch, which is owned by the Danske Bank, is to merge with the Abbeycentre outlet in October.

The bank has said no staff will lose their jobs with the change.

Ed Burns, chairman of the Glengormley Traders’ Association, said: “We were very disappointed with what was a shock decision by the bank to close the Glengormley branch.

“And we were disappointed that the bank did not discuss the closure with the association ahead of this announcement.

“As with any business closing, we are sad to hear about this news, but what is positive is that we will be working hard to secure a new use for the premises.”

Mr Burns has raised the idea that the building could be used as a town hall for Glengormley.

He added: “We would be concerned, that given the bank’s prominent location it would be allowed to be vandalised or run-down.

“There has been investment made on the look of the premises and it is important that it is not allowed to go to ruin.

“One possibility that we may look to consider is turning the building into a civic centre, which is something Glengormley and the community could greatly benefit from.”

Tony Wilcox, from the Northern Bank, said: “This is not a decision that we have taken lightly and I fully understand that this news will be disappointing to some of our customers.

“I would like to reassure all customers that Northern Bank remains committed to continuing to meeting their banking needs.

“Over recent years the banking habits of consumers, and our customers, have changed – with many preferring to use other ways of managing their finances rather than relying solely on the branch.

“Increasingly, customers are turning to the efficiency and convenience of conducting their day-to-day banking over the telephone, online and in ever growing numbers through our mobile banking app for smartphones.

“Our industry, along with many others, is adapting to innovations in technology and we are responding to consumer expectations of a modern, progressive bank.”

He added: “Customers do not need to take any action, as their accounts will automatically transfer to their new branch.

“However, as Northern Bank has real-time banking, customers can actually use any branch they choose for their everyday banking.”

As well as a number of additions to the Northern Bank’s service, the Abbeycentre branch has also extended its Saturday opening hours to 4.30pm.

The Glengormely branch will close on Friday, October 26.