The closure was announced at the beginning of March following a strategic review of the Bank of Ireland’s Northern Ireland business, which has been underway since August 2020.
By the end of 2021, the number of Bank of Ireland branches in Northern Ireland will reduce by 15 to 13. Alongside this change, a £7 million investment programme will be delivered to improve the revised branch network, invest in technology, and enhance customer service. We are also announcing that the Bank of Ireland UK headquarters will relocate from London to Belfast. In the Republic of Ireland the branch network will reduce by 88, from 257 to 169.
Personal and business customers will be able to use over 500 Post Office branches to make lodgements of cash and cheques, withdraw cash and make balance enquiries. Bank of Ireland business customers will also be able to access enhanced services including cheque encashment, bulk cash lodgements and obtaining pre-ordered coin at nominated Post Office outlets.
Ian McLaughlin, Bank of Ireland UK CEO, commented: “Technology is evolving, and customers are using branches less. COVID-19 has accelerated this changing behaviour, and over the past 12 months we’ve seen a seismic shift towards digital banking.
“Digital banking is growing fast, while branch footfall is dropping sharply. We’ve now reached a tipping point between online and offline banking, and that’s why we’ve announced changes to our branch network. However, our agreement with the Post Office means we continue to protect local access to physical banking for those who want it.
“We know news like this can cause concern for some customers. We’re not making these changes immediately, giving us time to communicate fully with all our customers about every option available to them – online, in an alternative Bank of Ireland branch, or at a local post office.
“Bank of Ireland has been serving the community since 1825 and these changes mean we can continue to play a strong role in Northern Ireland for the years to come.”