Ulster Bank has announced closure of 20 branches in Ireland, and sub offices across both sides of the border this year, in its latest round of cost-cutting strategies. The announcement regarding the details of the closing branches would be disclosed in the coming weeks, the Royal Bank of Scotland-owned organisation said.
The Irish Bank Officials’ Association (IBOA) will meet the senior management of Ulster Bank next week to discuss the closures, having learnt of the closures during a staff conference call last week. The association claimed that it was told about the job losses in the conference call before Christmas amidst a small gathering of workers.
Larry Broderick, IBOA general secretary, said while branch closures were on the table since last January, this is the first indication of a specific number. He said, “We are disappointed that the bank’s management chose to reveal their intentions in a teleconference to a relatively small number of staff, rather than in the course of the ongoing engagement with IBOA on the restructuring programme.”
In a statement issued by Ulster Bank, it said that the branch network will remain under review “to ensure that we are operating in the correct locations for our customers”.
Exactly a year go in January, Ulster Bank had announced 950 job cuts in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. 350 jobs were made redundant in Northern Ireland while the remaining 600 jobs were lost in the Republic of Ireland.
There are 146 branches of Ulster Bank in the Republic of Ireland and 90 in Northern Ireland. Royal Bank of Scotland, which owns Ulster Bank, has infused at least £10.8bn into the bank since 2008 to absorb losses after the property market downturn. The third largest bank in Ireland wrote off more than £1bn in bad loans, mainly related to property, in 2011.