Hillsborough bank branch closure ''a major blow to local community''

Ulster Unionist Councillor John Palmer has warned that the closure of Danske Bank’s Hillsborough branch will come as a major blow to many people.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 3:26 pm
Danske Bank, Hillsborough (photo courtesy of Google Maps)
Danske Bank, Hillsborough (photo courtesy of Google Maps)

Councillor Palmer, who represents Hillsborough on Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, said:

“The news that the Hillsborough branch is one of four Danske Bank branches earmarked for closure in October will come as a major blow to many people in the town and surrounding area.

“This will be very disappointing news for all local Danske customers, but will have the most serious impact on those who do not have access to their own transport or who cannot easily make the journey into Lisburn to conduct their banking business.

They will be looking to make alternative arrangements, and having spoken to the manager of Hillsborough Post Office, I am pleased to say that he is confident they can provide a full service for new and existing customers.”

It comes as Danske Bank has announced that it will be closing four of its branches later this year – in Hillsborough, Ballygawley, Mallusk and at University Road in Belfast. The branches will close on 22 October.

Commenting on the announcement, Aisling Press, Danske Bank’s Managing Director of Personal Banking, said:

“We shape our business around customer behaviour – and in the last number of years, the way customers use branches has changed considerably. Now, many are choosing to use alternative ways of banking with us, such as our online banking, app or banking on the telephone.

“As a business, we must respond to these changes. This can mean reviewing, and adapting, our investment strategies – sometimes it will include investing more in key branches. Through transformational upgrades, we have invested over £5.5 million in 19 branches across Northern Ireland over the past number of years and we continually look for new opportunities to develop our technology to serve our customers. We are currently planning our next phase of upgrades to key branches across our network and will be investing further in our local branches this year.

“As a prudent business we also need to make difficult decisions to close certain branches that are being used less and are no longer sustainable. We do not make these decisions lightly.

“I have written to our customers in Hillsborough branch to assure them that we remain committed to continuing to meet their banking needs and to share the different ways they can continue to bank with us. Over the coming weeks, customers will also be able to get additional support in our Hillsborough and Lisburn branches and from our customer contact centre. Our ‘Step by Step’ guide, with guidance on how to use other ways of banking, will be available in the affected branches, or this can be printed on request at any branch or following a phone call.

“If any of our customers have additional concerns, I would encourage them to please speak to us - we will do everything we can to support them through this change.”

Danske Bank continues to invest in both its online channels and its day-to-day banking services. Alongside its eBanking and app, advisers are available on the telephone or online from Monday to Sunday, and in the evenings. More recently, the bank has invested in technology to enable customers to connect with Personal Bankers by video meetings, an alternative way to manage the banking needs of those who are unable to visit their nearest branch.

Through the Bank’s relationship with the Post Office, customers with a debit card can check their account balances, withdraw cash and make personal or business cash lodgements at any UK Post Office, as well as lodging cheques using a pre-printed envelope and credit slip at any Post Office in Northern Ireland.

After 22 October, Danske Bank will have a network of 32 branches across Northern Ireland.