FSU calls on Minister of Finance in Northern Ireland to reconvene banking forum as a matter of urgency.

09 February 2024

Danske branch closures another devastating blow to staff, business and communities says FSU.

The announcement today by Danske Bank to close another four branches has been described as a devastating blow to staff, business and communities by the General Secretary of the Financial Servies Union (FSU) John O’ Connell.

Danske Bank has today announced the closure of four branches across Norther Ireland. The branches effected areCarrickfergus, Knock, Saintfield and at Shipquay Place in Derry/Londonderry.

This follows the recent announcement by Ulster Bank to close ten branches across Northern Ireland.

Commenting on today’s announcement Mr O’Connell said:

“We are slowly seeing the demise of the banking branch structure in Northern Ireland. Over 30% of the branch network has now have disappeared since 2020. If this trend is allowed to continue, we will reach a situation where in-person banking will be obsolete and communities will be stripped of local banking facilities.

It is time for immediate action from the Financial Conduct Authority to prevent branch closures and to ensure that local banking facilities are available to those who require them. The FSU are in favour of a hybrid model of banking where online and digital banking as well as in person banking are freely available to all.

The FSU call on the new Minister of Finance in Stormont, Caoimhe Archibald MLA to immediately reconvene the roundtable discussion forum on banking, previously set up by her predecessor  Conor Murphy MLA where relevant stakeholders can discuss how the banking sector will evolve over the next decade.

We would also call on all announced branch closures to be paused until this wider discussion takes place and a properly planned out approach is agreed among all stakeholders.”