The town of Ballymote in south Sligo wakes up this morning to another bank gone from its midst.The local branch of Ulster Bank was one of six outlets closed on Friday as part of what has been described as a 'restructuring plan' announced earlier this year.
This is the second Sligo Ulster Bank branch to close in recent years. In 2014 the bank closed its Pearse Road branch.
In total, 22 branches of the bank will close before the end of September.
The bank says its responding to 'changing customer demand' maintaining that just 10 per cent of its customers use in-branch services and that less than 30 people per day were using the now closed branches.
As workmen from Northern Ireland stripped the signage, fittings and fixtures from the former Ballymote branch yesterday, Sunday, some business people voiced their displeasure with the move.
'We now have to go into Sligo town to get coinage needed for every day trading, that's a round trip of 50km, plus having to pay for parking. Some years back we lost AIB so we had to go to Colloony then they closed that. Now Bank of Ireland here are providing only a limited teller service on a few days a week."
The businessman, not wishing to be identified continued, "Some of my elderly customers were told to use online banking, are these bankers serious? Those customers wouldn't know anything about such modern systems, the f*****g banks are living in cloud cuckoo land, they don't give a s**t about us. The Government bailed them out, with our money, and their thanks is to stuff us."Sligo Today understand that the ATM at the building, which has been out of action for some weeks, is to be now administered by a 'private company' who will take over its operation next Friday
. Signage, monitors and displays dumped in a skip in Ballymote yesterday. Photo: SligoToday.ie
In the meantime customers can use the Bank of Ireland ATM further down the street to withdraw cash, within daily limits, however they cannot check their balance or carryout out other functions normally available at their branch.
Again they will have to make the 50km round trip to Sligo from a town with no public transport system apart from intercity trains.
Ulster Bank have confirmed that 220 jobs will be lost in the 2017 'restructuring'
A notice on the Ballymote ATM yesterday
. Photo: Sligo Today.ie
Ballymote is expected to be serviced by a Mobile Unit however no timings or days have, as yet, been announced. See link below.
Along with Ballymote the five other branches to close on Friday were, Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, Ardara, Co Donegal, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford and Cootehill Co Cavan.
Link: Sligo Today 24/8/2017
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