FOUR of Donegal’s Ulster Bank branches will cease to exist from today (Friday). It is a year since the financial giant announced it was commencing a phased withdrawal from the Irish market.
Twelve branches closed on Friday with a second wave of shutdowns scheduled for lunchtime today. Among the 13 outlets closing nationally are Ballybofey, Buncrana, Donegal and Killybegs.
All will however reopen later this month or early next month, rebranded and refitted as Permanent TSB branches under a deal between the two lenders that will see them taken over.
The only other Ulster Bank in Donegal is in Letterkenny. It is not transferring to Permanent TSB and no announcement has been made over what will become of it when the company exits the market altogether later this year.
In relation to the Letterkenny building, a spokesperson for Ulster Bank said, “As yet a timeframe for closure of the Ulster Bank branches that are not transferring to Permanent TSB has not been announced but once details are confirmed we will inform our customers and colleagues.”
Staff working in closing branches will transfer across as part of Ulster Bank’s agreement with Permanent TSB.
The bank added that it wanted to remind customers that even if their local branch is becoming a Permanent TSB outlet and their mortgage is transferring to TSB, their current and deposit accounts are not transferring and action must be taken to choose a new provider.
Advising customers of branches that are due to close tomorrow, they added, “Your current/deposit accounts will not transfer to another provider automatically and you must make the necessary arrangements to move and close your Ulster Bank accounts.”
Separately, Bank of Ireland has announced plans to refurbish two of its Donegal branches.
Ballybofey and Buncrana are to be upgraded as part of an €11.5 million national investment.
Works include the installation of new external and internal ATMs and the improvement of facilities for staff.
Bank of Ireland also plans to install energy efficient LED lighting in each of its 169 branches this year.
“This will achieve over 50 per-cent in energy savings from a reduction in lighting energy consumption,” said a spokesperson.