The trade union group Unite has given a cautious welcome to an announcement that a decision on the future of the Bank of Scotland's operations in Ireland is being reviewed.

This comes after reports emerged that BOS was considering closing down its entire Halifax branch network across the country.

Speaking after a briefing with staff, a Unite officer said a 'significant development' had taken place this week.

Brian Gallagher said this could see an extension of the current review process and allow for a further re-evaluation of the bank's business in Ireland.

But Unite, which represents 900 of the bank's 1,700 staff, said they have not been briefed about the details of the development.