Tuesday, July 01 14:30:47
Ulster Bank intends to close seven more branches and three sub-offices in the South along with five branches in the North before the year's end, according to finance sector union, the IBOA.
The branches earmarked for closure in the Republic are South Mall, Cork; Pearse Road, Sligo; Granard; Clane, Kimmage, Dublin; Inchicore, Dublin; and George's Quay, Dublin - together with three sub-offices in Clara, Co. Offaly; Enfield, Co. Meath; and Lifford, Co. Donegal.
This latest announcement comes in the wake of the closure of 11 locations in the Republic last summer along with a similar number of branches in Northern Ireland.
Apart from the immediate questions about the provision of alternative arrangements for customers in the affected areas, IBOA General Secretary Larry Broderick said the Union is also concerned that the announcement pre-empts to some extent the ongoing negotiations between the Bank's senior management and the Union on the restructuring of the institution.
"Those negotiations have reached a crucial stage with the two sides agreeing to refer all unresolved issues - including proposals for branch closures - to an independent mediator, Mr. Mark Connaughton, who is due to meet the parties this week. While we note that management anticipates that these closures will not result directly in redundancies and we acknowledge its commitment that whatever provisions emerge from the restructuring negotiations will be available to the staff in these locations, we are, nevertheless, concerned about the impact on the directly affected staff in terms of redeployment as well as the indirect effect on employment for others," he said.