Ulster Bank to close ten Northern Ireland branches amid digital shift By Investing.com
BELFAST – Ulster Bank has announced the closure of ten branches across Northern Ireland as part of a strategic shift towards digital banking. This move comes in the wake of a significant drop in manual counter transactions and a corresponding rise in mobile app usage over the past four years. The affected branches include locations in Belfast, such as Ormeau Road, University Road, and Kings Road, as well as Ballynahinch, Crumlin, Downpatrick, Glengormley, Lisnaskea, Lurgan, and one in Derry.
The closures are scheduled to take place between February and November 2024, with specific dates for each location ranging from Ormeau Road on February 20 to Downpatrick on November 19. This decision impacts twenty-one employees but the bank has stated there will be no further changes to the branch network until at least after 2026.
In response to the changing consumer preferences and external pressures like increased costs in various industries including taxi services, Ulster Bank is committing over £3 million to enhance digital banking capabilities. This commitment follows an earlier investment of £3.25 million made this year for similar advancements. The bank’s investment aims to support customers transitioning to online services and ensure they have the necessary tools to manage their finances digitally.
The branch closures in Northern Ireland mirror a previous consolidation in the Republic of Ireland where Ulster Bank closed all its branches. These changes reflect a broader trend within the banking industry towards digital services as customers increasingly favor convenience and accessibility offered by online and mobile banking platforms.
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