Danske Bank closure 'will leave another massive hole' in Carrickfergus town centre warns Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson
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East Antrim Alliance representative Stewart Dickson voiced concern at the announcement that the High Street bank is to close later this year.
He warned that not only would private customers feel the impact of the decision, but local businesses and charities would also.
"Bank branch closures hit local communities and businesses across Northern Ireland, and Carrickfergus will face this prospect in June this year as Danske Bank will closes both its bank and cash machines on June 7,” said Mr Dickson.
"Moreover, many businesses and charities utilise the cash drop facilities in the bank. This means they will have to drag their cash bags, some of which can be heavy to carry, to the Abbey Centre, where the bank will relocate.
"It is a real shock to see one of our mainstay institutions depart the High Street and leave another massive hole in the town centre.
"The announcement was made today (Friday, February 9) and customers will receive a letter saying that the bank will cease to trade in Carrick on June 7. They will be advised that they “don’t have to do anything” as their sort code and account number will stay the same. They will also be referred to a support contact number – 0345 6010089 - and to discover how the decision was reached they can contact danskebank.co.uk/branchchanges.”
Mr Dickson said the news comes at a time when Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has secured £43m from the Belfast Regional City Deal to redevelop the town centre.
"Alas, businesses and institutions leaving the town does not demonstrate confidence in that process, and to most it will feel like another ‘tumbleweed moment’ in the life of Carrickfergus town centre,” he said.
"Whilst many of us are now comfortable with online and mobile banking, there is still a large number of people in our society – especially the vulnerable and elderly – who rely on the help and assistance offered at physical banks.
"Whilst I accept this, and appreciate the banks in question have guaranteed alternative access routes to banking services, I remain extremely concerned with the physical banking facilities that still function in the town.”