Speaking about the 11 branch closures announced by Ulster Bank, the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, Eddie Lynch said;

“I am very disappointed to hear of the 11 Ulster Bank branch closures announced today. Many older people prefer to do their banking in person and rely on local branches as a safe way to save and access their own money. Whilst many older people are adept at using the internet, others do not feel comfortable banking online and will now be left without a physical bank in their community.

“It is not acceptable for older people to be forced to go ‘digital by default’ for banking or other essential services. Without safe local banks, many older people feel they have no choice but to risk keeping large sums of money at home.

“Safe, alternative places are required in order to offer older people a secure and accessible way to keep their cash and withdraw their pension. I plan to meet with the financial institutions over my term to discuss the issues facing older people. In the meantime I hope to see additional mobile banks put in place to protect those affected by the branch closures.”