'Long term decline in transactions' leads to Lurgan Danske Bank closure

'Long term decline in transactions' leads to Lurgan Danske Bank closure

Danske Bank, Lurgan. Picture: Google Maps.

Michael Scott

Reporter:

Michael Scott

Email:

info@yourlurgan.com

Lurgan’s Danske Bank branch is to close later this year.

The bank has written to customers to say that the branch will close on September 16.

Three other branches in Cookstown, Kilkeel and Fivemiletown will also shut their doors on that date.

Aisling Press, Danske Bank’s Managing Director of Personal Banking, said: “The world around us is changing constantly, and the world of banking changes with it.

“Alongside that, the needs and expectations of our customers evolve, and in the last number of years, the way customers use branches has changed considerably. Now, many are choosing to use alternative ways of banking with us, such as our digital solutions, online banking, app or banking on the telephone.

“As a business, we have to respond to these changes and part of that is reviewing and adapting how we invest in customer solutions for the future. Sometimes that will include investing more in branches. Through transformational upgrades, we have invested around £6 million in 25 branches across Northern Ireland over the past six years and we continually look for new opportunities to develop and invest in our technology to better serve our customers in our branches and across our other channels.

“Sometimes, unfortunately, we also need to make difficult decisions to close certain branches that are being used less and are no longer sustainable. We do not make these decisions lightly.

“Today, I have written to our customers of each branch to assure them that we remain committed to continuing to meet their banking needs, and to share the different ways they can continue to bank with us. Over the coming weeks, customers will also be able to get additional support in our branches and from our local customer contact centre. Our ‘Step by Step’ guide, with guidance on how to use other ways of banking, and our Impact Assessments with details on alternative ways of banking, can be found on our website, in our branches, or can be printed and posted to customers.

“If any of our customers have additional concerns, I would encourage them to please speak to us – we will do everything we can to support them through this change.”

In a letter to customers, the bank said that the cash machines would also be no longer available for use.

“We’re really sorry to share this news, and we will do everything we can to continue to support you with your banking needs,” the bank said.

“As a valued Danske Bank customer, you’re welcome to use any of our 28 branches across Northern Ireland, including our neighbouring Portadown branch, or use online or telephone banking or your local Post Office.”

The letter continued, “The way customoers choose to bank is always changing, so we regularly review our services.

“While branches are still an important part of our offering, many customers are using them less often, instead choosing to use online, mobile or telephone banking, and the Post Office.

“A long term decline in transaction levels at [the] Lurgan branch has led to our decision to close.”

Ulster Unionist MLA for Upper Bann, Doug Beattie MC, was disappointed to hear of the closure.

He said, “I understand this decision has been made due to the long-term decline in transaction levels with the Lurgan branch. 

“This will be a massive blow for the staff if they’re not able to be relocated. It will also have an impact on those bankers who do not and cannot avail of online banking.  

“I understand we are moving into a world of everything online and due to this we are seeing a large number of banks closing their branches although many prefer to do their banking online, I am deeply concerned about those in our community who rely heavily on face to face banking. “ 

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