Bank of Ireland has said it plans to temporarily close 101 branches from tomorrow while 161 will remain open.

In a statement, Bank of Ireland said it had seen a reduction in footfall in its branches, while it was seeing an increase in customers needing a different range of supports. 

The bank said the changes would allow staff from temporarily closed branches to support the bank's larger branches and help contact centres manage the increased volume of customers requiring Covid-19 support, especially for mortgage and SME loan payment breaks.

The Bank of Ireland also said that all of its branches would continue to provide an external ATM cash withdrawal service.

Normal opening hours will continue in the branches that are open, the bank said. 

These branches will also continue the provision of prioritised services for over 65s and carers between 10am and 11am, Monday to Friday.

The closed branches include college campus at universities and Institutes of Technology and hospital branches, which closed last week due to the increased public health restrictions in place at these locations.

Branches at Cork and Dublin airports are also closed.

Gavin Kelly, CEO Retail Ireland, said the bank is constantly reviewing its operations to ensure it is providing the right supports for customers through this challenging period. 

"These changes help us to respond to the most pressing needs of our customers right now - that's support in managing the impact of coronavirus on their personal finances and on their businesses," Mr Kelly said. 

"These changes also refocus our branch network to our larger locations, which will help us support social distancing.

"This is extremely important for our customers and colleagues, whose safety and well-being is our priority. This will complement the enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures we have in place in our branches."