Consumer Council advice for Garvagh Ulster Bank customers

John French, chief executive of the Consumer Council. 
Pic: Colm O'Reilly Pacemaker Press.
John French, chief executive of the Consumer Council. Pic: Colm O'Reilly Pacemaker Press.

The Consumer Council is advising Garvagh Ulster Bank customers to check revised arrangements suit their needs.

It follows the announcement the local branch is one of nine across the province to shut later this year.

John French, chief executive of the Consumer Council, said: “The bank branch network in Northern Ireland has undergone significant change. By the end of this year around 38% of bank branches will have closed since 2010.

“This announcement from Ulster Bank will mean more consumers are left without a local branch and the facilities they provide. We would encourage affected consumers to speak directly with Ulster Bank to ensure the revised arrangements will continue to meet their needs.

“We always recommend consumers review their bank account and check it provides the best overall deal and service. Many consumers are now choosing to use different ways to bank, such as telephone or online banking. This may mean they need to switch bank accounts and/or provider. Switching is quick and hassle-free. Consumers can get a copy of our guide to switching their bank account at www.consumercouncil.org.uk, by contacting us on 0800 121 6022 or via facebook and twitter.”

The Consumer Council is holding a series of drop-in information sessions in libraries for consumers who have been affected by recent bank branch closures in their area, including Maghera Library on Tuesday, March 14 and Antrim Library, Friday, March 31.

It also has a ‘Bank Branch Closure’ factsheet which is available to download at www.consumercouncil.org.uk or by calling 0800 121 6022.

Ulster Bank has said it will be writing to customers of affected branches about the October 2017 closure plan.

A spokesperson said: “In line with the industry-agreed UK protocol on branch closures, we are writing to customers of these branches to inform them of alternative branch locations in their area and the range of banking services available on their mobiles, online, telephone and in post offices. We are also communicating directly with staff in those affected branches.”