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Crossmaglen and Keady Bank of Ireland branches to close permanently in November

Bank of Ireland Keady

Crossmaglen and Keady Bank of Ireland Branches will close permanently in November, it has been confirmed.

Earlier this year, Bank of Ireland announced it will close 15 branches in Northern Ireland, which is more than half of its 28 branches.

They said it was is part of a wider cost-cutting exercise that includes the closure of 88 banks in the Republic of Ireland.

As well as the closures of the bank in Crossmaglen and Keady, branches in Portadown, Banbridge and Dungannon were also to shut.

Crossmaglen will shut on November 18 while Keady will close a day later on November 19. Portadown and Dungannon has already shut while Banbridge will close on October 4.

SDLP Councillor for south Armagh, Pete Byrne said he was “disappointed” to receive confirmation from Bank of Ireland on the Crossmaglen closure.

“I have consistently called on those who have made this decision to ensure full banking services are available through the new post office model,” he said.

“Customers will be able to bank cash/cheques, withdraw cash and check their balance at the post office counter in Centra.

“I have written back to the Bank of Ireland Managing Director to get clarity on other services that will be lost, especially to business customers, and will update you with a response on reply.”

Sinn Féin MLA, Conor Murphy and his colleague, Councillor Aoife Finnegan, both voiced their disappointment.

Mr Murphy said: “I am extremely disappointed that the Bank has decided to press ahead with the decision to close branches during the pandemic. Sinn Féin have repeatedly urged banks to wait until the pandemic is over before making these decisions.

“The banks have cited an increased move by customers to online banking as one of the motivations for this decision. However, it must be remembered that there is still a considerable number of people who are unable to access these services. Particularly in rural areas.

“It is important that rural communities are taken into account when these decisions are being made to prevent them from becoming further isolated from their essential services.”

Councillor Aoife Finnegan echoed her colleagues view, stating that: “This decision is a huge blow for our rural community. The banks have said that Post Office’s will be able to fill the gap in the services provided to the affected communities. However, in some areas there is no Post Office at all and the communities which have an uncertain future with the Post office being relegated to a counter in a shop corner.

“People will still be able to lodge cash and cheques and use other banking services at the Post Office here in Crossmaglen but it is vital that if bank branches are to close in rural areas that the Post Offices will be protected to ensure that more services do not disappear from our already isolated rural communities.”

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