Armstrong expresses disappointment over bank closures

Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has expressed disappointment after Ulster Bank announced it was to close another number of branches.

The 11 closures – affecting branches in Killyleagh, Portrush and Ballyclare among others – are scheduled to happen in May and follow nine other closures this past March. The move will see the loss of around 40 jobs.

Strangford MLA Ms Armstrong said it was a blow.

“This is a disappointing move by Ulster Bank, which compounds the recent move to close another number of branches. The closures will affect a lot of people and moving facilities to the post office or expecting customers to switch to online banking is not an adequate alternative to in-branch services.

“Ulster Bank have stated this move is due to more people using online services. However, I have to question that logic, as Killyleagh in particular and some other branches as well, are in areas with questionable internet access and poor mobile phone signal, so it does not ring true.

“It is also concerning news for staff at Ulster Bank, 40 of whom will be expected to seek voluntary redundancy. Alliance will seek to meet with Ulster Bank to discuss what options are being put in place for both customers and workers, so this move will hopefully have a minimal impact.”

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