‘Ulster Bank plans raise serious questions’ – Bradley

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Monday, July 15th, 2013
SDLP Assembly Member for Newry and Armagh and Deputy-Chair of the Assembly’s Finance Committee Dominic Bradley MLA has said that Ulster Bank has serious questions to answer around its recent announcement that it is to close 39 branches and shed hundreds of jobs throughout Ireland. Commenting before the Finance Committee Mr Bradley said, “I will be raising the disgraceful way in which news of these closures was released into the public domain over the heads of staff affected and asking to know what level of consultation took place with staff and their representatives. “I will be seeking to find out why Ulster Bank has gone back on a promise given last January that there would be no further job losses. These branch closures when joined with those from other banks seriously depletes the banking services available to people here, especially in rural areas. “The Consumer Council research has shown that the people most impacted upon are older people who are unfamiliar with the process of on-line banking. There is a clear need for a strategic approach to this appalling situation to ensure that people are not left without local access to banking,” Bradley blasted. “It is essential that banks work with other institutions like the post office to help ensure that people have the fullest possible access to a wide range of banking services. The SDLP has long supported the enlargement of banking services available through the credit union network. “The credit union is rooted in the community and is run by the community for the community. I would call on the Finance Minister and the ETI Minister to work together to do all that is possible to support the enlargement of credit union services,” he added.
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