Financial Services Union launches campaign to save Ulster Bank

Issued : 15 October 2020

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

Thursday, 15th October 2020

 

Financial Services Union launches campaign to save Ulster Bank

 

The Financial Services Union has launched a campaign to save Ulster Bank in the Republic of Ireland. The union, which represents banking staff in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain has written to the directors of Ulster Bank’s parent company, NatWest to set out the concern of staff and customers arising from media reports on a strategic review of the Ulster Bank business in the Republic of Ireland. The reports indicate that all options are being considered, including the wind-down and closure of the bank.

 

Commenting, FSU general secretary, John O’Connell said: “Ulster Bank has a long association with its customers and communities across Ireland and plays a key role in personal, business, and digital banking. It provides local jobs for 3,000 people in towns and cities throughout the island of Ireland, some 2,400 of which are in the Republic of Ireland, through its 88-strong branch network. Last year, Ulster Bank put new lending of €3.1bn into the Irish economy. It supports our farming sector and small and medium enterprises in their growth and as such plays a vital role in our economy. In some communities, it is, to its credit, the last bank in town. A decision to close the bank would have a devastating impact, economically, socially, and individually on customers, communities, and staff.

 

“We are calling on NatWest to meet with the FSU and to engage with all those affected ahead of making any such monumental decision.”

 

As part of its campaign, the FSU has also led the creation of a broad coalition of interested groups covering business, farming and communities, calling on NatWest to commit to the future of Ulster Bank in the Republic of Ireland and to bring an end to doubt and speculation for staff and customers of the bank. To date, signatories include the Irish Congress of Trade Unions; the Irish Farmers’ Association; Sinn Féin finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty TD on behalf of Sinn Féin; Labour Party Finance spokesperson, Ged Nash TD on behalf of the Labour Party; Mandate Trade Union; Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, and Unite the Union.

Mr O’Connell added: “We are building a coalition to fight against this. Already it includes the IFA, ICTU, Sinn Fein, and Labour, and as part of our campaign we are inviting organisations across the country to join our growing coalition. They can sign up via our website, https://www.fsunion.org/save-our-ulster-bank/.

“Ulster Bank provides a vital economic and social service in communities across the country and we are calling on NatWest to commit to the future of Ulster Bank for customers and for staff.”

 

The FSU’s letter to NatWest, along with the Save our Ulster Bank coalition statement can be found on the FSU website, https://www.fsunion.org/save-our-ulster-bank/.

ENDS

 

Contact: Brian McDowell, Head of Communications and Public Affairs, FSU. Tel: 087-9161225. Email: [email protected]

 

Notes to editors:

  • FSU general secretary, John O’Connell is available for interview, on request.

 

About FSU

The FSU is Ireland’s leading union across banking and finance. We represent thousands of staff across the main retail banks, and we have members in more than 70 companies across the finance and fintech sectors. Our members are spread across the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Great Britain. We are headquartered in Dublin and we also have a presence in Belfast. We are members of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and UNI Global finance union.