24 March 2017
By Tom O’Sullivan
“I am disappointed by Ulster Bank’s decision to close their branch in Carrigaline where I currently live with my family.”
Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson, Michael McGrath has said that he is deeply disappointed by the decision of Ulster Bank to close 22 bank branches later this year.
“This decision will send shock waves throughout communities up and down the country; many of whom have seen other high street banks shut their doors in recent years.
“To my mind, this decision doesn’t make sense. Carrigaline is an expanding town, with a growing population and it is a town where I would have thought the bank would want to maintain and grow its presence to avail of the opportunities such a location brings.
“I have conveyed directly my concerns, and the concerns of residents in the town to senior officials in Ulster Bank about their decision to close the branch. My understanding is that the Carrigaline branch is due to close in September 2017.
“Ulster Bank has, in my opinion, taken the easy option, and not thought about the long term implications of the decision for their customers and the communities affected.
“Making decisions of this nature based on average number of daily customers ignores the strategic position bank branches play in communities.
“Personal and business customers need access to in-person banking services to deal with requests that cannot be completed over the phone or online.
“Older people will be disproportionately impacted by the decision, as many prefer to go into their branch and deal with people rather than use online banking. Now they will have to travel further afield to do their day to day banking.
“The Minister for Finance needs to consider how the State can attract additional players into the high street retail banking market to increase competition and access to services.
“Ulster Bank needs to publish the rationale behind the move and explain to the people and businesses in the 22 communities, including Carrigaline, affected how they expect to maintain services for them,” concluded McGrath.