Bank of Ireland closed 101 branches due to covid-19 outbreak

Sally Dobie

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Bank of Ireland (BOI) closed 101 branches on Tuesday 24th March due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

Of the branches 161 will remain open, 148 of those will be fully operational, including counter services for cash, coin and cheques.

All the closed branches will still have ATM services available outside.

Mark Leech, Head of Media Relations at BOI, said the bank developed online options for those currently unable or not willing to visit a branch, including an application for mortgage customers to request financial assistance, and an application for customers to request a payment break due to the virus.

The bank also extended its text service to include requesting a mortgage payment break.

According to the BOI press release, colleagues from the closed branches will be supporting the bank’s larger branches and help the contact centres to deal with the increase in calls.

Leech said staff were given guidance in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) and HSE recommendations, and have deployed appropriate cleaning and hygiene procedures across all branches and offices.

“The safety and welfare of our colleagues and customers is our priority at all times,” said Leech, adding that there are safe queueing systems in place at branches. Leech said they may also limit the number of customers entering the bank at one time.

On the possibility of more branch closures, Leech said they were “constantly reviewing our operations to ensure we are providing the right support for customers how and when they need it through this challenging period.”

Ulster Bank also announced 10 of its non-cash advice centres will be closing on Friday 27th March, and all branches will close on Saturdays.

Colin Hunt, CEO of AIB, said they plan to remain open and have introduced “a range of robust measures designed to buttress customers against the enormous challenges now facing us.”

Sally Dobie

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