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Halifax Job Loss

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

To get information on the announcements today from Halifax, you can go to http://www.halifax.ie/

Customer Announcement from Halifax
Following a strategic review, Bank of Scotland (Ireland) intends to reshape its business to reflect the continuing and very difficult economic environment, and to secure a viable future for the Bank. As a result, the Bank plans to focus on its established strengths of corporate and commercial banking and is committed to maintaining a strong presence in the Irish Market.

As part of this review, the Bank has announced its intention to withdraw from Retail and Intermediary banking, which includes the Halifax retail bank network in the Republic of Ireland and the Bank of Scotland (Ireland) Asset Finance and Homeloans businesses.

It is intended that Halifax in the Republic of Ireland will close on a phased basis, from the end of May 2010, including the 44 retail branches, the customer service centre in Dundalk and direct support functions. The withdrawal of Halifax products for new business is effective from 10th February 2010.

The Bank of Scotland (Ireland) intermediary business, which provides residential mortgages through brokers, motor finance and commercial asset finance, will also close to new business. These businesses will continue serving existing customers.

Customers do not need to do anything at this stage and customers' savings and investments remain secure. All affected customers will be contacted shortly on what the next steps are, if any.

Halifax deeply regrets having to announce its intention to close and would like to thanks customers for their business and support.

Please see the relevant product section for more detailed information.

We would like to remind customers that Bank of Scotland (Ireland) would never send you an email asking you to provide personal or account information, or to verify your secure online banking details. Any email asking you to 'verify your account', 'confirm your sign in details', or using a similar form of words, is certainly a scam and should be reported to the Bank of Scotland (Ireland) immediately.



What exactly is happening?
Following a strategic review, Bank of Scotland (Ireland) intends to reshape its business to reflect the continuing and very difficult economic environment, and to secure a viable future for the Bank. As a result, the Bank plans to focus on its established strengths of corporate and commercial banking and is committed to maintaining a strong presence in the Irish Market.

As part of this review, the Bank has announced its intention to withdraw from Retail and Intermediary banking, which includes the Halifax retail bank network in the Republic of Ireland and the Bank of Scotland (Ireland) Asset Finance and Homeloans businesses.

It is intended that Halifax in the Republic of Ireland will close on a phased basis, from the end of May 2010, including the 44 retail branches, the customer service centre in Dundalk and direct support functions. The withdrawal of Halifax products for new business is effective from 10th February 2010.

The Bank of Scotland (Ireland) intermediary business, which provides residential mortgages through brokers, motor finance and commercial asset finance, will also close to new business. These businesses will continue serving existing customers.

Customers do not need to do anything at this stage and customers' savings and investments remain secure. All affected customers will be contacted shortly on what the next steps are, if any.

Why have you taken this decision?
The strategic review, conducted by management and approved by the Board of Bank of Scotland (Ireland), concludes that the Bank should reposition itself in a way that reflects the very difficult economic environment. As such the Bank plans a renewed focus on its established strengths and long standing ICC Bank heritage of corporate and commercial banking.

The review found that, as a result of the continuing very difficult economic environment, the Halifax retail business and Bank of Scotland (Ireland) intermediary business will not, unfortunately, achieve their financial and strategic objectives as originally planned.

The fledgling Halifax retail business lacks the required scale to succeed in this very tough economic climate. There is no strategy for this business that will see it achieve breakeven or profit in a realistic timeframe.

When is Halifax closing?
It is planned to close the 44 Halifax branches in the Republic of Ireland on a phased basis from the end of May and concluding by the end of June 2010. The customer service centre in Dundalk will remain open for a period of time after that to ensure the needs of existing customers are met

The Bank has ceased taking new business applications for current accounts, mortgages, savings, personal loans, credit cards and insurance products from 10th February 2010.
The Bank plans to write to each customer specifically about their accounts in the coming weeks.


When is Bank of Scotland Intermediary Business closing down?
These businesses will continue servicing existing customers.
The Bank of Scotland (Ireland) Homeloans, Motor Finance and Commercial Asset Finance businesses will however, close for new business from 10th February 2010. Customers of these businesses will not be required to move their accounts unless they wish to do so. Customers will receive a letter about any changes affecting them.

When will my branch close?
The closure date for each branch have yet to be agreed but we will give each customer plenty of notice . It is intended that Branches will start to close on a phased basis from the end of May and concluding by the end of June 2010.


When will the customer service centre close? Can I still make calls into it?
The customer service centre in Dundalk will remain open for a period of time after the end of June to ensure the needs of existing customers are met.


Can I still use internet banking?

Yes. Customers can continue to use internet banking on their account until the end of May 2010.


I am also a Business Banking customer - does this announcement affect my business accounts?

No. Today's announcement affects Bank of Scotland (Ireland) Homeloan, Asset Finance & Halifax products only. You do not need to be concerned with regard to your business banking accounts.
If you transact in a Halifax branch, it is planned to close these branches on a phased basis from the end of May 2010 and you will be informed in advance of alternative arrangements.


Is this a sign that Bank of Scotland (Ireland) is planning to leave the Irish market?
No. Bank of Scotland (Ireland) is committed to maintaining a strong presence in the commercial and corporate banking markets in Ireland.
The planned closure of the Retail & Intermediary businesses will enable us to focus on core commercial and corporate banking businesses. This renewed focus on commercial and corporate banking is crucial to the future success of the bank.

For more information on this story please go to the RTÉ news website:

http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0210/bankofscotlandireland.html

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