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Local communities react to news of Bank of Ireland closures

Mar 1, 2021 17:03 By News Northern Sound
Local communities react to news of Bank of Ireland closures Local communities react to news of Bank of Ireland closures
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Unions have criticised the decision by Bank of Ireland to close 88 of its branches here. 15 more are to close in the North with

Unions have criticised the decision by Bank of Ireland to close 88 of its branches here.

15 more are to close in the North with the bank saying it’s because of a rise in digital banking.

Locally, Arva, Cootehill and Kingscourt are to close, along with Castleblayney and Clones.

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In Northern Ireland, branches in Crossmaglen, Dungannon, Keady and Lisnaskea are to close, along with nine others across the region.

The branches, due to close by the end of September, are mainly self-service which don't have a counter service. It says they all have a post office within 500 metres on average.

Around 200 people work in these branches and the bank says staff will be relocated and will be no compulsory redundancies.

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The bank is entering into a new partnership with An Post to offer banking services at over 900 locations, with longer opening hours.

Group CEO of Bank of Ireland Frances McDonagh says the banking model has radically changed.

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SIPTU says the closures are a bolt out of the blue and a major shock for staff.

While John O’Connell from the Financial Services Union says online banking isn’t for everyone.

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There's disappointment in Arva at the lost of another financial institution.

Today's news comes four years after Ulster Bank pulled services from the area.

Noel Lynch, the Chairman of Arva Town Development Association said it's disappointing that in 2017, Bank of Ireland had committed to staying in the village.

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A Castleblayney Councillor has criticised Bank of Ireland for not showing support to local communities.

Fine Gael's Aidan Campbell said he's seeking a meeting senior management to highlight the impact the bank's withdrawal will have on the towns and villages.

He says there was no consideration given to people who don't do online or automated banking.

Meanwhile, the closure of the branch in Clones has been described as "another nail in the coffin" for the border town.

It, along with Cootehill, Kingscourt, Arva and Granard will be without banking services.

There is now concern for the viability of Clones as a place to live, work and do business in going forward.

Eamon McCaughey from Matthews of Clones Newsagents says it's disappointing to see the town go from four banks to none.

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