‘Bank of Ireland closures will hit customers hard’ – Rogers

Newry Times News Posted by
Saturday, January 26th, 2013

SDLP MLA for South Down Sean Rogers has expressed his disappointment at the announcement that two branches of Bank of Ireland will close in South Down, Kilkeel and Rathfriland.

Speaking to Newry Times, Rogers said he was deeply disappointment with the Kilkeel and Rathfriland closures announcement expected by June of this year.

“The bank said the nine branches that will be closed account for 7% of the business the bank conducts in Northern Ireland. The Bank of Ireland has said they will invest in more modern technology in order to make banking more accessible.

“Such justification of closures will be cold comfort to the loyal customers of the branches concerned, many of whom are part of the older generation who still prefer to do their banking on a face to face basis. Furthermore, a reduction of service for people in rural areas, who have a limited access to broadband, is extremely concerning.

Rogers continued, “There are already few Bank of Ireland branches in South-Down and many customers will be greatly inconvenienced by having to change to a different bank. At a time when confidence in the Banking industry is low these closures only serve to increase peoples stress and reduce customer confidence.

“Rural areas require proper access to banking and the loss of these branches will mean travel pressure for customers and indeed redeployed staff. I would ask Bank of Ireland to consider the effect closures will have on the local community.

He added, “The SDLP have already written to the Irish Bank Officials’ Association (IBOA) seeking a meeting and seeking clarification on number of issues that are currently causing concern for customers and staff. My party colleagues and I will continue to press for proper access to banking for customers.”

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