THE Northern Bank has confirmed that it is to close its Rathfriland branch.
The banking firm says that the decision “is in response to changing consumer banking habits, and advancements in technology and in the industry.”
It will merge with the Banbridge branch, based at Bridge Street in the town, and will close on Friday November 18.
Northern Bank General Manager for the region, Maria Donnelly, explained, “ Our branch network was built up over decades and in very different times – before the developments in technology that are rapidly changing consumer habits. It only makes sense that over time some branches would be reviewed. We are continuing to invest in how we deliver banking to Northern Ireland consumers and businesses, but it is inevitable that the priorities for investment will change and adapt. The decision to close a branch is made only after very thorough consideration of how customers currently use the branch, consumer preferences, industry developments and the proximity of other branches in the area.”
Customers are being given over three months’ notice of the closures which will take place from November this year. Their accounts will automatically transfer to Banbridge branch.
Ms Donnelly continued, “We understand that this news may be disappointing to some customers and especially those who have built up good relationships with branches, sometimes over many years.
“Those relationships are important to us and our local branch teams will make it their top priority over the coming weeks and months to help to make the transition to their new branch as straightforward as possible. For many customers, other ways of doing their day to day banking, including telephone and online banking, are fast becoming the preferred ways to manage their finances.
“We can reassure customers that they will be very well looked after in their new branch and will receive the same high level of customer service that they have come to expect from Northern Bank. Northern Bank provides real time banking – which means that our customers can treat any Northern Bank branch as their own branch.”
Northern Bank customers with card based accounts can use the Post Office to withdraw cash and check the balance on their account at no cost.
All customers affected have been written to with details of their new branch and the full range of Northern Bank services available to them.