The Consumer Council is concerned about the impact the closure of Shankillâ€™s Danske Bank on 12 September will have on consumers.
Rachael Cray, Head of Money Affairs at the Consumer Council said: “Our research shows that consumers want access to bank branches, with 60 per cent saying they have visited their branch in the last month and 32 per cent within the last week.
“The good news is that consumers in the Shankill area who do not feel comfortable with online or phone banking, can still visit the local post office to lodge cash and cheques, to check balances and pay off bills. Danske has also confirmed that while the Shankill branch is due to close in September 2014, it is merging with the Donegall Square West branch – so although a bit further away and less convenient for some consumers, it is another option for those who prefer to do their banking in branch, face to face with an adviser.Customers can alternatively visit any other Danske branch which is closer or more convenient for them.
“The Consumer Council is working with all banks in Northern Ireland to reinforce what consumers have told us through our research. They must ensure that access to banking is maintained and that the needs, especially of vulnerable consumers, are considered. In the case of Danske Bank there will be customer support sessions in Shankill branch prior to the merger with Donegall Square West and the Consumer Council urges consumers to go along to one of these or to contact the bank directly with any concerns they have.
“The Consumer Council also has a factsheet for consumers in relation to bank branch closures and it is available at www.consumercouncil.org.uk. Consumers can get a free copy by contacting us on 0800 121 6022 or via facebook or twitter,” concluded Rachael.