Bank of Ireland to close 103 branches

Monday, March 1
IRELAND


By Micheal Keogh

Bank of Ireland is to close 103 branches in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland by the end of September.

In a statement this morning, the Bank of Ireland group said that they have seen a decline in customers visiting branches and an increase in online and contactless activity.

The bank said that its mobile app is its most popular way to bank, with almost half a million customer logins every day and traffic up by a third in the past two years. 

It said that seven in ten personal customer product applications are made digitally, and it expects this to grow to over eight in ten by the end of this year. 

It has agreed a new partnership with An Post which will offer banking services at local post offices.

Customers who wish to make transactions in person, they said that the new partnership will provide for longer opening times and Saturday openings.

Bank of Ireland said that customers will be able to use more than 900 post offices across the Republic to Ireland for lodgements and withdrawals.

The announcement comes as the Bank of Ireland published its annual results for 2020.

Bank of Ireland posted an underlying loss of €374m for the year ending December but the group said it returned to profitability in the second half of 2020.

"For many years, the trend to digital banking has been evident, with customers using branches less and less. Covid-19 has accelerated this changing behaviour, and we've seen a seismic shift towards digital banking over the past 12 months," said Francesca McDonagh, Bank of Ireland's group chief executive.  

"We’ve now reached a tipping point in customer preferences between online and offline banking. That’s why we’ve also announced changes to our branch network in Ireland and Northern Ireland today, while protecting access to local banking services through a new arrangement with An Post," she added,