Bank to axe Ballyclare branch

Closing down: Bank of Ireland's Ballyclare branch.
Closing down: Bank of Ireland's Ballyclare branch.

BANK of Ireland has confirmed that its Ballyclare branch is to close later this year.

Following a review of its branch network, the bank has decided to close nine outlets across Northern Ireland, including those in Ballyclare, Carrickfergus and Larne. The Glengormley branch will remain open.

The Main Street branch is scheduled to shut in May or June, and Bank of Ireland UK has confirmed that it will be consulting on a one-to-one basis with affected staff.

It is understood that a total of 50 employees, out of a total of 750 across Northern Ireland, will be impacted by the closure programme.

A spokesperson for the bank stressed that its “priority will be to redeploy staff to other branches”, but added that some may be eligible for existing redundancy programmes.

While the move will reduce Bank of Ireland’s branch network in Northern Ireland from 44 to 35, the remaining branches, including Glengormley, will be “upgraded and modernised” as part of a £10m investment scheme. The bank’s network in the Republic of Ireland will not be affected.

The branches scheduled for closure are said to account for seven per cent of the business conducted by the branch network in the province, and have been described as “smaller branches where the volume of business is insufficient to sustain them”.

Sean Sheehan, Bank of Ireland regional manager for Northern Ireland said: “To help deliver our strategy for Northern Ireland we are investing in a modern branch network that provides customers with easy access to banking services and is fully integrated with our online, phone and mobile channels.

“We also have to ensure that the network is cost-effective and fit for purpose. We understand that closing branches is disappointing for those who use them, but the volume of business at the branches involved means they are not sustainable in the long term. We will continue to service those customers through larger branches which are being modernised and upgraded.”

The bank has given an assurance that it will be writing to all affected customers detailing the changes that are taking place.