Bank of Ireland branch closure is ‘a hammer blow’ to the town

The closure of the Portadown branch of the Bank of Ireland is ‘a hammer blow’ to the town, the SDLP has said.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 3:02 pm

Cllr Eamon McNeill he was concerned for vulnerable and elderly customers without access to essential services.

The bank revealed this week that Portadown is one of 13 branches to close in NI.

The Bank said the branch in High Street was one of many who had suffered a 70% slump in footfall in recent years.

It is understood the Portadown branch will not be closing until later in the year.

Facilities have been set up for customers to use the Post Office. It is not known if any staff will be made redundant and, the bank says it is to redeploy those affected.

Councillor McNeill has called on the bank to clarify its future arrangements for servicing its loyal customer base and supporting its workforce.

He said: “This is a hammer blow to Portadown, just as it is for urban centres across the North.

Eamon McNeill.

“ In recent years we have had a migration of business away from the city and town centres across to the internet, followed by the collapse of trade in traditional retail centres as a result of the Covid pandemic.

“This decision from the Bank of Ireland adds to this spiral of decline,” said the Portadown councillor

“This move will undoubtedly leave vulnerable and elderly customers without access to essential services,” he said.

“It is also highly disappointing there appears to have been very little local consultation or stakeholder engagement.”

“I will be seeking to meet with senior officials at Bank of Ireland to secure protections for the customers and staff at the Portadown branch.”

Upper Bann MLA Jonathan Buckley is also concerned that the Bank of Ireland will be closing its Portadown branch.

He said: “I understand that branches in both Portadown and Banbridge are included amongst the closures being made by Bank of Ireland.

“This is extremely unfortunate news for our high street and for all those who will be affected.

“I am continuing to liaise with the Bank of Ireland on this issue and I understand that they are working to identify staff who can be redeployed to other roles within the company.

“These are additional vacant units in our towns, which serves as further evidence for the urgent need for a specific recovery plan for town centres across Northern Ireland.”

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Bank of Ireland says ‘use Post Office’ as it plans to shut Portadown branch Read full story here-

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