Updated: 23/03/17 : 13:31:46
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Ulster Bank Ballymote to close

It has been confirmed this morning that the Ulster Bank branch in Ballymote is to close as Sligo Today said earlier this month. See link below

In a letter - below - circulated to all staff this morning by the union representing bank workers, FSU, Ballymote is listed among the 22 branches to close with loss of 220 jobs.

The letter also confirmed that the main branch in Sligo town is to be downsized with the loss of some jobs.

Other rural branches in the region to close include Ballyhaunis and Cootehill.

Branches facing further downsizing and job losses include Letterkenny, Roscommon and Cavan.

In a surprising move the bank will make another four branches 'cashless' in line with the Grafton Street (Dublin) outlet which underwent a trial period.

They are, Raheny, Liffey Valley, Swords Pavillion and Cork's Winthrop st.

The FSU advised their members that they argued with the bank the need to retain the maximum number of locations and that they have consistently shown evidence that branches have been understaffed on a number of occasions at particular locations.

The closure will leave the busy market town with just one bank, Bank of Ireland which is now partially automated.

The AIB branch was closed several years ago.

Sligo Today can confirm that the closures will take place in June and September.

One Ballymote pensioner said he had, as requested by the Pension's Office, switched having his weekly pension collected at Ballymote Post Office to the local Ulster Bank.

"What do I do now, my son says I'll have to do online banking. I don't have a computer and even if I did, I wouldn't know to use it. So its back to the post office for me."

In a statement Ulster Bank Chief Executive Gerry Mallon said, "Closing a branch is a difficult decision which we do not take lightly, and our branch network remains an important part of how we serve our customers. However, the role of the branch continues to move toward advice and away from day-to-day transactions, with only 10% of our customer interactions now happening in branch.

The bank also plans to provide new new mobile banks which will travel to rural areas to serve customers and that its services with An Post will be extended to include cash and cheque lodgements for personal and business customers.

When the closures are complete, Ulster Bank will be left with 88 branches across the country.

Cllr Dara Mulvey, Chairman of South and West Sligo Municipal District, Sligo County Council expressed his shock at the closure announcement.

He said, "This is a devastating blow for the Ballymote region, a thriving market area. The people have supported this bank for generations."

Link :: Sligo Today 8/3/2017