DUP meet with Ulster Bank to discuss Harryville closure

Cllr. Martin Clarke and Paul Frew MLA outside the Ulster Bank in Harryville. INBT04-236AC
Cllr. Martin Clarke and Paul Frew MLA outside the Ulster Bank in Harryville. INBT04-236AC

THE DUP’s Paul Frew MLA and Councillor Martin Clarke have met with officials from Ulster Bank to discuss the proposal of closing the Harryville branch.

The Ulster Bank was represented by John Cairnduff Manager of Corporate Affairs, Stephen Cruise Managing Director of Ulster Bank and Terry Robb head of the local Ulster bank Business Centre .

Cllr Paul Frew said: “The Ulster Bank officials made it very clear to us that they could not and would not reverse this decision and that the Harryville Branch was one of 11 that is earmarked for closure in the coming months.

“They based their decisions on a province wide objective of keeping a consistent coverage throughout Northern Ireland and the progression of online banking and that one of the reasons for the decisions to close Harryville was taken because of it’s close proximity to Wellington St Branch.

“Martin and myself explained to the officials that Harryville was seen as being a town within a town and this would hurt businesses and individual customers alike.”

Frew added: “The officials said that they would take this on board and gave a commitment to us that they would go through their customer base to identify issues and try to solve those issues with the customers especially customers who would be deemed vulnerable or had mobility issues.

“We in the DUP have asked them to consider this decision of closure again in light of the information provided by us but we have also said that we would help in identifying the vulnerable customers and would assist by organising a meeting for the people who use the bank and have concerns.

“We would be happy to facilitate that meeting in the DUP offices in Church Street and invite the officials back again to discuss these issues with them to provide reassurance.

“Any of our constituents who are concerned about this should contact the DUP office and ask for myself or contact Martin Clarke or the other DUP elected representatives in Ballymena.”

Cllr Martin Clarke said: “It is very important that if this Branch does close that the Bank leaves some sort of presence in Harryville even if it be a hole in the wall ATM Cash machine and we could assist the bank in finding a suitable position for this to be sited.

“We have stressed to the Bank officials that we will assist our constituents where we can and we will be monitoring this situation very closely to ensure that whatever happens it has the least effect on our people.

“The officials stated that there would be no redundancies created out of the proposed closure.”