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Union concerned over possible Ulster Bank branch closures

Date Posted: 08.08.2016

Financial Services Union ‘surprised’ at comments made by bank’s new CEO Gerry Mallon

Ulster Bank had an adjusted half-year profit of €155 million. “Given that branches are profitable, any suggestion of further cuts is very worrying,” said FSU general secretary Larry Broderick.

The Financial Services Union (FSU) has expressed concern about the future of Ulster Bank’s branch network in the Republic following comments made by its new chief executive Gerry Mallon.

FSU general secretary Larry Broderick said he was “surprised” by Mr Mallon’s suggestion on RTÉ Radio that the bank might look again at the issue of branch closures next year as customers continue to switch to digital services.

“The comments are at odds with reassurances which Mr Mallon has repeatedly given staff about Ulster Bank’s commitment to customer service and the branch network,” Mr Broderick said.

“Given that branches are profitable – and that the bank’s half-year [adjusted] profits are €155 million – any suggestion of further cuts is very worrying.

“Customers clearly want more flexibility and digital access to banking services, but they are also clear that they value the service and relationship banking which can only be delivered by staff in-branch. Undermining the branch network will impede Ulster Bank’s recovery strategy.”
Financial performance

Separately, the FSU has asked Ulster Bank’s parent company, Royal Bank of Scotland, to clarify the financial performance of the business in Northern Ireland.

RBS decided to separate Ulster Bank in the North from the operation in the Republic last year. The result is that the bank in the North now reports into RBS’s businesses in Britain and no longer publishes separate financial figures.

“This is a worrying development which does little to repair the damaged reputation of banks and their record on transparency,” Mr Broderick said.

“The FSU has asked the bank to urgently rectify this situation for the benefit of customers, staff and the wider economy.

“Given that Ulster Bank is such an important part of Northern Ireland’s economic infrastructure, it is unthinkable that these figures will not be published in the interests of openness and accountability.”

Source: Irishtimes.com


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