Business

Former bank buildings flood onto Northern Ireland's commercial property market

The grade B listed former Bank of Ireland building on Portadown's High Street, now on sale for £325,000.

A DOZEN former bank buildings have appeared on the north’s commercial property market in recent days following a series of closures in 2021.

Bank of Ireland shut 15 branches across the north this year, with the shutters coming down on the final two in Crossmaglen and Keady over November 18-19.

Six former branches are now up for sale in Downpatrick, Dugnannon, Lisburn, Portadown, Lisnaskea and Belfast’s Lisburn Road. Two more on the Ormeau Road and University Road in Belfast have gone on the rental market.

Former branches in Limavady, Banbridge, Ballymena, Strabane, Crossmaglen, Keady and Derry’s Strand Road, which all closed in 2021, are expected to follow.

The prominent town centre buildings already on the market include the listed High Street branch in Portadown, which has an asking price of £325,000

Offers in the region of £625,000 are being sought for the former Lisburn Road Bank of Ireland branch in Belfast.

It comes as Danske Bank dumped four of its former branches on the commercial property market in recent weeks.

The branches in Hillsborough, Mallusk, Ballygawley and Belfast’s University Road, which all closed on October 22, are on sale with a combined asking price of £1.4 million.

Bank of Ireland's former branch on Belfast's Lisburn Road.

Some £575,000 is being sought for the former Danske Bank branch next to Queen’s University, while the standalone unit at Mallusk is on sale for £495,000.

The former Hillsborough branch has a £200,000 price tag, while offers in the region of £150,000 are sought for Ballygawley.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy has said a round-table discussion will take place in early 2022 to discuss concerns over the future of banking in Northern Ireland.

It follows calls from the Irish Financial Services Union (FSU) for new forums on both sides of the border in response to swathes of branch closures during 2021.

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