Danske Bank set to close 50th branch in Northern Ireland since 2010

Danske Bank will close another four branches in Northern Ireland in October.

THE number of branches closed by Danske Bank in the north since 2010 will pass 50 this year.

The lender confirmed branches in Ballygawley, Hillsborough, Mallusk and at University Road in Belfast will close on October 22.

It follows the closure of Danske Bank branches in Ballycastle, Comber, Kilrea and Strabane in December.

It will leave the lender with just 32 branches here, 51 below its branch network from 2010.

Danske Bank’s announcement on Friday came just two days after Stormont’s Finance Committee passed a motion calling on banks to pause all branch closures.

The Finance Committee has also backed the Financial Services Union’s efforts to set up a banking forum in Northern Ireland in response to the ongoing programme of closures by some of the biggest banks here.

Bank of Ireland is in the process of closing 15 branches across the north, reducing its network to just 13 outlets.

Some nine Bank of Ireland branches have closed in the past two weeks alone, with branches in Lisnaskea and Dungannon the latest to joint the list this week.

Six more are due to close later this year in Ballymena, Banbridge, Crossmaglen, Derry, Keady, Strabane.

It will leave the north’s so-called ‘big four’ banks with just 96 branches in total.

Danske Bank said its latest closure plans are in response to the changing ways people interact with their bank, including online banking.

It said there would be no compulsory redundancies.

Aisling Press, Danske Bank’s managing director of Personal Banking, said: “As a business, we must respond to these changes. This can mean reviewing, and adapting, our investment strategies – sometimes it will include investing more in key branches.”

She said Danske Bank had invested £5.5 million in 19 branches across the north in recent years, but added: “As a prudent business we also need to make difficult decisions to close certain branches that are being used less and are no longer sustainable. We do not make these decisions lightly.”

Analysis of the four branches earmarked for closure state that transactions in the premises had declined by between 24 and 38 per cent since 2017.

The period analysed includes the various lockdown periods introduced from March 2020, which had a significant impact on high street footfall across the north.

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