Bank of Ireland has said that it is planning to close twenty percent of its branches within the next two years. The bank is facing growing opposition in Waterford where the bank plans to shut one of its four branches in the city and withdraw over-the-counter services in another. Bank of Ireland intends to amalgamate its branches at The Quay, Parnell Street and Ballybricken under a single Waterford city name. The branch at Ballybricken, which was refurbished only two years ago, is to close and an over-the-counter service for non-commercial customers will no longer be available in Parnell Street. Automated services will be available there. The branch in Ballybricken has been open for nearly 30 years and is due to close in the summer.
The bank's public affairs department has said that it intends to close about 65 or its 315 branches by the end of next year. Rural branches will not be closed, said a spokesperson. David Holden of Bank of Ireland says that 320 people are now employed at its Banking 365 call centre in Tallaght and another 250 jobs are being created at another centre in Kilkenny. He added that with all this investment, something has to give somewhere regarding the branch network structure. However, local city councillors, including the Mayor of Waterford, have strongly criticised the proposed closure and restructuring in Waterford.