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34 jobs to go as Ulster Bank to shut branches at Antrim, Ballymoney, Larne, Maghera, Holywood, Warrenpoint, Dunmurry, Comber and Clogher

Nine branches of the Ulster Bank across Northern Ireland are to close in September with the loss of 34 jobs.

The branches earmarked for closure are in Holywood, Warrenpoint, Dunmurry, Antrim, Ballymoney, Larne, Comber, Maghera and Clogher.

The news comes less than a week after Danske Bank said it would shut branches in Lurgan, Cookstown, Kilkeel and Fivemiletown on September 16.

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An Ulster Bank spokesperson said: “As with many industries, most of our customers are shifting to mobile and online banking, because it’s faster and easier for people to manage their financial lives.

The Ulster Bank in Maghera. This branch as well as Ulster Bank branches in Antrim, Ballymoney, Larne, Holywood, Warrenpoint, Dunmurry, Comber and Clogher will be closing in September. Photo courtesy of Google.

“We understand and recognise that digital solutions aren’t right for everyone or every situation, and that when we close branches we have to make sure that no one is left behind.

“We take our responsibility seriously to support the people who face challenges in moving online, so we are investing to provide them with support and alternatives that work for them.”

It is understood that within the Ulster Bank close to 90% of retail banking customer needs are met digitally (this is sales of loans, current accounts, mortgages etc.)

The Ulster Bank said that around half of its customers bank entirely digitally and that all the closing branches are within one mile of a free to use ATM.

As with the Danske Bank it is pointing towards its partnership with the Post Office which enables customers to withdraw and deposit cash at any of their branches.

The Ulster Bank spokesperson added: “In terms of older customers/those in vulnerable situations, we contact and support them to ensure they can continue to bank with us in the way which suits them best. Our Customer Care telephone team and our Customer Support Specialists provide tailored support for vulnerable customers who require extra help or have more complex needs and connect customers to internal and external experts where appropriate. Customers can speak to us using our dedicated vulnerable customer telephone line with shorter waiting times and our Banking My Way service allows customers to let us know about any additional needs they have so we can offer tailored support.”

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Danske Bank closing branches in Lurgan, Cookstown, Kilkeel and Fivemiletown