Ulster Bank who operate in Bray and Blessington announced today the 63 remaining branches in the Republic of Ireland are to cease transactions on 31 March 2023 and close on 21 April 2023.
This means customers will no longer be able to make cash or cheque lodgements either at the counter or through internal automation devices or make any form of a withdrawal at an Ulster Bank branch (except for ATM services). In the period from 01 to 21 April, colleagues in branches will be fully focused on supporting any remaining personal and business customers to move to a new banking provider and close their accounts. These 63 branches, and ATM services, will permanently close on 21 April 2023.
In January, 25 Ulster Bank branches closed as part of the transaction with Permanent TSB, and are reopening as Permanent TSB branches.
Ulster Bank also confirms that customers will no longer be able to access Ulster Bank services through An Post outlets after 31 March 2023. This means that customers will no longer be able to make lodgements or payments through their Ulster Bank accounts in any of An Post’s network of post offices and outlets across the country.
There will continue to be a range of customer services available through the dedicated Customer Support Hub on www.ulsterbank.ie to support customers through this change. Ulster Bank’s Telephony service can be contacted on 0818 210 260* (00 353 1 8047475 if calling from abroad). Lines are open 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week. Online, app and telephone banking is also available until customers’ accounts are frozen).
Colleague Redundancy Programmes
In November, Ulster Bank opened two redundancy programmes and as a result, c600 colleagues will now leave the Bank via redundancy over the coming months, the timeframe is aligned to the business need.
Other colleagues have left and will continue to leave the Bank through TUPE transfers as part of the Bank’s transactions with Permanent TSB and AIB. Ulster Bank also expects to open another voluntary redundancy programme in February 2023 with further redundancy programmes later in 2023 and beyond as the work continues to reduce or cease.
Moving to Freeze and Close Higher Reliance Current and Deposit Accounts
Ulster Bank is also encouraging customers who have not yet taken action, to begin the process of choosing a new provider, moving their transactions and closing their current and deposit accounts within their notice period. All current and deposit accounts that have passed their six month notice period are now queued for closure, with the exception of known vulnerable customers and customers in receipt of Social Protection payments and we will continue our outreach to those customers to support them to move. The Bank will commence the freezing of personal and commercial customer accounts with higher levels of activity on or after 02 February 2023.
An account is frozen for a period of 30 days and unless a request is made by the customer to access the account, it is then closed. Ulster Bank have received minimal requests for customers to access their accounts once frozen. This careful and controlled approach of freezing accounts for 30 days before it is closed, means that customers who haven’t already closed their account are given another final opportunity to engage and where a customer needs more support, Ulster Bank can still provide it at that stage. This phased approach to the closure of accounts is managed to maintain an orderly process for customers, the industry and other key stakeholders.
90% of Ulster Bank personal current accounts, are either closed, or with customers having materially wound down the level of activity in their current account to five or less transactions, or left it inactive. This increases to 94% when personal deposit accounts are included. This trend continues to increase every day for customers approaching their six month deadline. 77% of Ulster Bank business/ commercial accounts have either closed, materially wound down the level of activity in their current account to five or less transactions, or left it inactive. 59% of personal current accounts are already closed; and 41% of business/ commercial current accounts are closed.
Our focus remains on supporting all customers in moving to a new banking provider. Customers can contact Ulster Bank on 0818 210 260 or 00353 1804 7475 if calling from abroad or 1800 656 001 if they have vulnerabilities. Business customers can call us on 1800 818 375 or can call their dedicated relationship manager for assistance with moving their accounts.
Throughout this process, Ulster Bank also reminds customers that Ulster Bank will never ask you for passcodes or online banking details in a phone call, email or text – so be alert, as scammers and fraudsters may try to take advantage of the situation.
Ulster Bank Chief Executive Jane Howard said:
“Today is another significant day in our phased withdrawal as we communicate the closure dates of our remaining branches to colleagues, customers and other stakeholders. I know that our branches and colleagues have been a central part of these communities for many years and these final months of helping customers to move to new providers will be poignant for all involved. I would like to unreservedly thank all of our colleagues for their continued support of our customers and of each other.
“By the time we close our branches, we know that the closure of current and deposit accounts will have materially concluded. If any customer has not yet moved their current and deposit account, I strongly urge them to act swiftly to find a new provider and move their accounts. Our colleagues are on hand to support, and customers can contact Ulster Bank on 0818 210 260 or 00353 1804 7475 if calling from abroad or 1800 656 001 if they have vulnerabilities. Business customers can call us on 1800 818 375 or can call their dedicated relationship manager for assistance with moving their accounts.”