FSU praise Ulster Bank staff for their professionalism and dedication as sixty-three branches close for the last time.

21 April 2023

FSU calls for protection of banking services at a local level.

John O’Connell, General Secretary of the Financial Services Union (FSU) has called for the Central Bank and the Department of Finance to ensure the provision of banking services at a local level is protected after Ulster Bank closed sixty-three branches for the last time today.

As part of their exit of from the Irish retail banking market Ulster Bank today closed all of its remaining sixty-three branches in the Republic of Ireland.

Commenting John O’Connell said:

“This is a sad and difficult day for many staff and customers of Ulster Bank. Many staff have spent their entire working life employed by Ulster Bank in their retail branch network. I would like to take this opportunity to praise the staff for their professionalism and dedication to providing great customer service in what has been an incredibly challenging time.

The exit of Ulster Bank has left a gaping hole in banking services in communities across this Country. Sixty-three branches have closed today, and the skillsets and knowledge of staff have been lost.

We know from research done by the Department of Finance that people of all ages rely heavily on their local bank branch but that older people have a particular reliance on local banking services. This has been acknowledged by the Department of Finance in the Banking review and it is now incumbent on the Department and the Central Bank to ensure that local banking services are protected and enhanced.

A consultation is currently underway on the retention or otherwise of the banking levy. Currently any money raised by the levy goes directly into the general exchequer funding and is dispersed across all Departments.

The FSU believes it would be better to use the money raised by a banking levy for the common good which would include enhancing and protecting local banking services for communities, businesses, and vulnerable people.”