Bank of Ireland to close more than half of NI branches

Bank of Ireland is set to close more than half of its Northern Ireland branches, it has been announced.

Following a review of their business, the bank has said that their network in Northern Ireland will be reduced from 28 to 13 branches.

In a statement, a Bank of Ireland spokesperson has said it is in response "to the significant and accelerating changes in how customers are banking today."

The bank has also announced that their UK Head Office will be relocated from London to Belfast later this year.

The Bank of Ireland UK CEO has said the coronavirus pandemic has accelated changing behaviours in customer and that there has been a "seismic shift towards digital banking" over the past twelve months.

Ian McLaughlin said: “Digital banking is growing fast, while branch footfall is dropping sharply. We’ve now reached a tipping point between online and offline banking, and that’s why we’ve announced changes to our branch network.

"However, our agreement with the Post Office means we continue to protect local access to physical banking for those who want it."

Personal and business customers will be able to use over 500 Post Office branches to make lodgements of cash and cheques, withdraw cash and make balance enquiries.

The bank has said that between 2017 and 2019, the number of people visiting branches had reduced by a quarter and that footfall at the branches which are closing is down by nearly 70% since 2017.

Bank of Ireland has also announced that it will invest £2.2m into the resized branch network as well as an additional £4.8m in technology aimed at improving customer services.

The following branches are set to close:

  • Ballymena

  • Banbridge

  • Belfast Lisburn Road

  • Belfast Ormeau Road

  • Belfast University Road

  • Crossmaglen

  • Derry/Londonderry Strand Road

  • Downpatrick

  • Dungannon

  • Keady

  • Limavady

  • Lisburn

  • Lisnaskea

  • Portadown

  • Strabane