Finance union concerned at plans emerging in Ulster Bank

Issued : 27 February 2014

Responding to this morning’s statement from Ulster Bank Chief Executive, Jim Brown, IBOA The Finance Union has said that it is concerned that the future proposed for Ulster Bank appears to be one built on even fewer branches, even fewer employees and an operational model which will undergo further change.

“While IBOA welcomes the commitment from Ulster Bank’s parent, RBS, that it will remain on the island of Ireland, we are disappointed that Jim Brown has been unable to provide any more detail about the Bank’s plans.,” said General Secretary, Larry Broderick. “It is important that the Bank clarifies precisely what today’s announcement means for staff and customers, as soon as possible.

“IBOA will be working with our members and with local communities to ensure that customers will have easy access to branches particularly in rural areas and to secure the retention of as many jobs as possible throughout the island of Ireland.

In line with the commitment from RBS Chief Executive, Ross McEwan, that all change in Ulster Bank will be negotiated with IBOA in line with agreed procedures, the Union has now made a formal request to meet the senior management of Ulster Bank at the earliest opportunity for a comprehensive presentation on the Bank’s future as the first step in that intensive engagement.

“This is another difficult day for staff in Ulster Bank who are facing continuing uncertainty about their future employment prospects. While they are pleased by the reaffirmation of Ulster Bank’s intention to remain in Ireland, they are concerned that they have yet to find out whether they will be part of that future and in what capacity or location. The majority of staff working in Ulster Bank have already made a substantial contribution to the improvement in the Bank’s financial results through two major restructures within the last four years. The continuing uncertainty about the Bank’s operations is wearing both for employees and customers. Clarity and transparency are essential now – especially as the Bank aims to return to profitability.