FSU to launch campaign against Ulster Bank proposal to close ten branches in Northern Ireland
21 November 2023
Closing branches will result in losses of jobs, reduced in person banking services for communities, business, and those most in need of financial advice and support. says FSU
The Financial Services Union has described the announcement by Ulster Bank that it is to close ten branches as hugely disappointing and a shocking abandonment of its loyal customer base and a bitter blow to communities in Northern Ireland.
The Ulster Bank announcement, if implemented would mean the Ulster Bank branch footprint in Northern Ireland would be reduced to 25 branches.
Commenting on the announcement Mandy LaCombre, Senior Industrial Relations Officer with the FSU said:
“ This announcement has come as a shock to our members who are still reeling from the approximately 350 jobs lost in the Bank in Northern Ireland as a result of the UBI DAC withdrawal.
The Bank have informed us that 52 staff will be impacted by this announcement with some staff due to be redeployed to another branch location within the current network while staff that are not redeployed will be offered voluntary redundancy.
The closure of branches will result in losses of jobs, reduced in person banking services for communities, business, and those most in need of financial advice and support. The FSU will campaign vigorously against these closures and will continue to meet with the Bank to minimise redundancies and to save jobs.”
John O’Connell, General Secretary of the FSU said:
“The FSU held a meeting with the CEO of NatWest yesterday. We outlined our total opposition to the announcement of closures and to staff being put at risk and called on NatWest to provide a much stronger commitment to maintaining jobs in Northern Ireland.
Today, the Council of the FSU met and passed an emergency motion committing the Union to campaign vigorously against these planned closures and to campaign for a wider commitment from the main retail Banks in Northern Ireland that there would be no bank branches closed for the next five years.
The FSU will also engage with the Financial Conduct Authority to seek their involvement in protecting customers access to in person financial advice and cash services.
While other financial institutions are committing to retaining their branch network until at least 2026 Ulster Bank have decided to cull the local banking services it provides to customers and business. It is a retrograde step and should be reversed.
We call on all consumer and business advocates to join us in campaigning against this diminution of services to consumers and to call on NatWest to immediately reverse its decision.”