Ulster Unionist Party Councillor Diana Armstrong has said that the decision by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to drop plans they had to close 10 branches in Scotland should have implications on the Ulster Bank decision to close outlets in Northern Ireland.
Cllr Armstrong said: “At a recent meeting with Ulster Bank at the Townhall in Enniskillen, which is almost 10 miles from Irvinestown, a strong case was put to Bank representatives by Erne North & other local Councillors, to retain the services in Irvinestown. It was argued that footfall in Irvinestown was diametric to footfalls being measured in other towns, such is the range of customer from rural and outlying areas. Ulster Bank have been asked to provide footfall statistics to examine ratio between on line banking and over the counter visits in Irvinestown.
“The owners of Ulster Bank is the RBS, which in turn is 70% State owned, therefore it has a significant responsibility to the wider community.
“I have now asked the Director of Community, Health & Leisure Robert Gibson, to write to Ulster Bank to highlight the reprieve from closure given to 10 RBS branches in Scotland. The mainly State owned Bank announced the reprieve after protests from the public and politicians and said that they decided the 10 should be spared because most do not have another RBS outlet within a nine mile radius.”
Cllr Armstrong continued "Given the precedent set in Scotland with the reprieve of 10 rural banks, I would urge Ulster Bank to immediately rescind this decision, save jobs in Irvinestown and save customers from the inconvenience of travelling to Enniskillen and adding to the already stretched service in that Bank. If reprieve can be given in Scotland, I see no reason why at this stage Ulster cannot roll back and continue to give banking services to the loyal customers in Irvinestown. I will welcome an early reply from Ulster Bank."