Ulster Bank said it will provide a range of limited services to customers following the closure of its Castlederg branch in May.
Confirmation was attained at a special meeting with local councillors and Ulster Bank representatives in Strabane on Friday, with Ulster Bank committing to providing a community banker in the town up to one day per week and a mobile bank on wheels for one hour per week.
Ulster Bank also confirmed that employees with tech expertise will be on hand in the lead up to the branch closure to advise customers with online banking, and a range of banking services will be available at the post office.
Attending Friday’s meeting was the DUP MLA Tom Buchanan who feels these services “provide little comfort”.
“While senior officials went to some length in seeking to reassure us of their plans to protect all of their customers with the promise of mobile banking, greater connections with the Post Office, Internet banking facilities and their Community Banker, this brought little comfort as we have witnessed the failures of such proposals in other areas.
“Overall, at a time when we are seeking to encourage businesses into our rural areas, support start-up businesses and help existing businesses to grow, such a decision is backward looking and will have economic consequences.”
Also in attendance at the meeting was Sinn Féin’s Ruairi McHugh, who welcomed Ulster Bank’s commitment to the area.
He said,“I welcome that they committed to try and mitigate the closure by providing a number of services.
“I went into this meeting under no illusion that the decision was already a done deal but felt it important to express the community’s deep sense of disappointment at the decision and establish what services will be available for local customers.”
A planning application was issued in January to begin the removal of the external ATM, signage and internal banking fittings to enable the decommissioning of the branch.