Ulster Bank defends downsizing decisions

Ulster Bank has defended the news that it is to shed 1,800 workers as it closes between 30 and 40 branches.

The bank said that some of the job cuts had already been announced previously and will not come directly from redundancies

"Ulster Bank has already announced and is implementing a programme to reduce FTE (full-time employee) headcount by 950 across the business," a spokesperson said.

"We believe that, taking account the 950 reductions announced in early 2012, the remaining decrease in headcount should be met through natural attrition over the remaining course of the strategic plan.

"We continue to keep our costs under review."

It remains unclear in what locations branches will go but Ulster Bank has moved to reassure customers that they will not be left without direct access to facilities.

"We keep our branch footprint under constant review to ensure we are operating in the correct locations for our customers," the spokesperson added.

"We have already announced and implemented a number of branch closures earlier this year including, 22 branches & sub-offices across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

"It is our intention to further streamline the traditional branch network whilst increasing the overall physical points of presence across the Island of Ireland, however the detail of this is yet to be worked through.

"As we progress this, we will communicate directly with our staff, customers and industry stakeholders."

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