Armstrong: Bank closures extremely worrying for many

Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has described the news Bank of Ireland is to close eight branches, with a loss of 54 jobs, as ‘worrying’ and ‘disappointing’.

The MLA for Strangford was speaking after the closure list included the last remaining branch in her own constituency, located in Newtownards.

Kellie Armstrong MLA said: “The issue of branch closures has affected many of banks in the past, but rather than assuming everyone will switch to online use we must look at other innovative solutions to providing services for customers.

“Bank of Ireland must listen to their customers as we cannot allow them – particularly those in rural areas – to be left feeling isolated from banking services. While the closures have been put down to an increase in online banking, for many this isn’t an available option – and neither is travelling long distances to access branch facilities.

“The announcement today confirms eight branches will close from Autumn 2016, with existing customers receiving written notification 60 days from Bank of Ireland.

“With staff either being redeployed, transferred or able to apply for voluntary redundancy, either way it means a loss of jobs for many local areas.”

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