Fears over Ulster Bank job losses

THERE are fears for the future of four bank branches in the Dungannon District after Ulster Bank announced it will close “in the region” of 20 branches and sub-offices on the island of Ireland this year.

It said in a statement on Thursday that it would provide further details on the closures within the next few weeks.

Ulster Bank currently has branches in Dungannon, Clogher, Aughnacloy and Stewartstown.

The Irish Bank Officials’ Association is due to meet the bank next week.

They said they learned of the closures during a staff conference call last week.

The Ulster Bank has 146 branches in the Republic of Ireland and 90 in Northern Ireland.

In its statement, it said it continued to keep its branch network under review “to ensure that we are operating in the correct locations for our customers”.

Last January, the bank announced it was planning to cut its workforce in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland by 950 staff.

It said 350 jobs would go in Northern Ireland while the remaining 600 would be lost in the Republic.

Ulster Bank, the third-largest bank in Ireland, is owned by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

In the first nine months of 2011 the bank wrote off more than £1bn in bad loans, mainly related to property.