ULSTER Bank has agreed to meet community groups from Raphoe and Ardara to discuss the proposed closure of two bank branches there, Donegal Deputy Joe McHugh said today.
Minister McHugh met senior bank officials in Dublin earlier today to protest at the planned closure of the branches which was announced last week.
The Donegal Fine Gael politician says he has now secured a meeting between committees in both towns and senior Ulster Bank executives.
Among those at today’s meeting in Leinster House were Chris Wilson, Managing Director of Retail Banking, Cathal Daly the Regional Manager and Tara O’Shea, the bank’s Co Donegal manager.
“At my request, Ulster Bank officials agreed to meet representatives of the many thousands of customers at the branches in Raphoe and Ardara,” said Minister McHugh.
“I once again raised the issue of the profitability and viability of both branches, knowing, for example, the large number of business customers among those who use Ulster Bank branches in both towns.
“The Irish operation of the bank, which is owned largely by the British taxpayer, has been bailed out to the tune of €15Bn by British taxpayers.
“Ulster Bank confirmed that it is proposing the closure of 22 bank branches in the latest round of cuts.
“I once again reiterated the groundswell of public anger at the closures here in Donegal.
“It is important now that those directly affected in Ardara and Raphoe can add their own voice through the meeting I have set up for them.
“It was clear from the meetings I attended in both towns on Monday evening that many many customers will leave Ulster Bank if they go ahead with the closures in June and September.”