No eleventh hour reprieve for Derg bank


The Ulster Bank in Castlederg.

ULSTER Bank has confirmed that there will be no eleventh hour reprieve for its Castlederg branch, despite a number other banks having recently been pulled back from the brink of closure.

A spokesperson confirmed to the Strabane Chronicle that, notwithstanding a suspension on the closures of ten Royal Bank of Scotland branches, the winding up of the Derg Ulster Bank will still take place this May.

“We can confirm that there are no plans to revisit our decision,” the spokesperson explained, suggesting that Scotland is a “different market”.

The matter of a reprieve for the local branch was brought before a meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council, where Cllr Derek Hussey relayed the RBS move to reverse its decision to close rural branches in Scotland.

According to the local councillor, this U-turn on the basis that there is not another RBS outlet within nine miles of that branch ear-marked for closure.

“Ulster Bank is owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) which is itself 70 per-cent state-owned and in my opinion therefore has a responsibility to our wider community.

“A precedent has now been set by Ulster Bank’s controlling bank in Scotland where RBS has reversed their decision to close ten bank branches. These ten branches were reprieved on the basis that most do not have another RBS outlet within a nine mile radius.

“If such a reprieve can be undertaken in Scotland by Ulster Bank’s parent bank, surely a similar consideration can be enacted here in Northern Ireland.”

However when contacted this week as to the latest position on the closure, a spokesperson for the Ulster Bank confirmed that there will be no change in policy vis-a-vis on the Scottish precedent.

“There won’t be a change in the decision,” the spokesperson said. “It’s a different market with different things taken into account.”

Just last week RBS posted its first profit in a decade. The bank made an annual profit of £752million compared to a 6.95billion loss the year before.

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