22/07/2011

Northern Branch Closures 'Banking On Loyalty'

The Northern Bank is making widespread cuts in its branch network in Co Antrim and Co Down - but is hoping to retain all their customers from the affected facilities.

The branches to close in Belfast are in Dundonald, on the Ormeau Road and on Dargan Road, in the Belfast Harbour Estate.

The three branches outside the city that will be closing are in Crossgar, Rathfriland and Whitehead.

By explanation, the bank said the closures come in response to "changing consumer banking habits, and advancements in technology and in the industry."

They also insisted that no jobs would be lost as part of the rationalisation plan.

Northern Bank Regional General Manager Stephen Bloomfield said: "We understand that this news may be disappointing to some customers and especially those who have built up good relationships with branches, sometimes over many years.
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"Those relationships are important to us and our local branch teams will make it their top priority over the coming weeks and months to help to make the transition to their new branch as straightforward as possible.

"For many customers, other ways of doing their day-to-day banking, including telephone and online banking, are fast becoming the preferred ways to manage their finances," he said.

"We can reassure customers that they will be very well looked after in their new branch and will receive the same high level of customer service that they have come to expect from Northern Bank," Mr Bloomfield said, noting that the bank also plans to retain cash machines (ATMs) "in each location or close by".

The Danish-owned Northern Bank currently has 82 branches across Northern Ireland.

The six branches affected by the move will close on 21 October.

(BMcC/GK)

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