Bank of Ireland to close eight Northern Ireland branches

Bank of Ireland logo
Bank of Ireland logo

The Bank of Ireland is to close eight of its branches in Northern Ireland.

Branches in Castlereagh, Draperstown, Antrim, Belleek, Castlederg, Newtownards, Maghera and in Donegall Square South close to Belfast City Hall are to close on a phased basis starting in the autumn.

The bank said the volume of business passing through the eight branches was insufficient to sustain in the long term.

It added that the decision reflected the “evolving banking needs” of a growing number of customers who preferred digital banking.

Sean Sheehan, of Bank of Ireland UK, said: “The decision to close branches is not taken lightly, and we understand that it will be disappointing for those customers who use them.

“A key priority will be to ensure customers understand the alternative arrangements available, and to maintain continuity of customer service.”

The bank said staff in the impacted branches will be able to “transfer, redeploy or relocate to other roles” or apply for voluntary redundancy.

Mr Sheehan added: “We are responding to the continuing shift in customer behaviour towards increased use of digital and online channels, and the changes announced today will put us in the best position to continue to support our customers’ changing needs and grow our business in the future.”

The bank will continue to operate 28 branches in Northern Ireland.

The Belfast City Hall branch premises will become the bank’s first Enterprise Lounge in Northern Ireland, offering entrepreneurs and business start-ups free facilities and services.

The bank said it would write to individual customers affected at least 60 days before their branch closes.

Wednesday’s announcement does not impact the bank’s branch network in the Republic of Ireland.