Council raises Dungannon branch closure concerns with Bank of Ireland
A delegation including the Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Dungannon DEA Elected Members and senior Council Officers met with senior Bank of Ireland officials today to voice Council concerns following the bank’s announcement on 1st March that it will close 15 branches, including its Dungannon Town Centre branch.
Council Chair, Councillor Cathal Mallaghan led the delegation in expressing deep concerns and disappointment with the decision to senior officials in Bank of Ireland, which included the Heads of Consumer and Business Banking NI. The deputation sought further clarity on the context for the decision to reduce its branch network. It concluded by asking for a reconsideration of the closure.
Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Mallaghan said,
“We welcomed the opportunity to put Council’s concerns in the strongest possible terms to the Bank of Ireland today. To have this service withdrawn is a blow for Dungannon town centre and for local people, particularly for older people and those from surrounding rural areas who can’t rely on decent broadband for access to online banking and so, do rely on being able to visit a branch.
He continued, “The timing couldn’t be worse, when we need to be revitalising our town and village centres which have been so hard-hit by the pandemic, and addressing the social isolation felt by many in our communities at this time.
“While we were disappointed to be unable to reach a firm resolution at today’s meeting, Council will continue to lobby for the reversal of the decision.”
Bank of Ireland has confirmed the closures would begin from June until "the end of 2021", with more specific dates for branches released "in due course".
It has stated that branch closures were in response to changes in customer behaviour over the last four years and the popularity of digital services like online shopping meaning customers are using physical branches less and less.