Two First Trust branches in Co Armagh will close in the summer, it has been announced tonight (Wednesday).
The Armagh city branch will close on July 7, and Portadown just over three weeks later on August 4.
Fifteen branches across Northern Ireland are being axed.
The bombshell announcement was made by head of First Trust Des Moore.
He said the decision had been taken “due to changing customer behaviours and trends”.
Mr Moore said there had also been a “sizable shift” away from branch usage to online banking.
The decision was taken at the end of an 18 month review.
He said the bank would be creating five new specialist business centres at its branches at Ballymena, Dungannon, Enniskillen, Newry and Derry/Londonderry.
The changes were essential for an “efficient, effective and sustainable” business.
The branches closing are as follows: Armagh, Antrim and Andersonstown on July 7; Banbridge on August 4; Cookstown on June 30; Crescent Link in Derry/Londonderry on July 7; Downpatrick on July 28; Belfast, High Street, August 4; Upper Newtownards Road on July 28l Magherafelt, July 28; Belfast Ormeau Road on June 30; Portadown on August 4; Strabane on July 29; and Warrenpoint, June 30.
Mr Moore said it had been a “difficult decision” to close the branches, adding that First Trust would be working hard to “minimise the impact on the customers and staff concerned”.
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