West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Anger at inadequate response from Ulster Bank regarding Gortin Closure

Published: 16 December, 2014

A Sinn Feín delegation led by Pat Doherty MP met this morning with senior representatives from Ulster Bank regarding the proposed closure of the Gortin branch.

Speaking after a very robust and frank engagement with Ulster Bank local MP Pat Doherty said,

"The delegation left the meeting this morning angered at the inadequate response from Ulster Bank who informed us that the decision to close the bank has already been made.

"We feel Ulster Bank are focusing too much on transactional activity and are not taking account of the social impact this will have on this dispersed rural area.

"This is a major blow to the area as another important basic service is to be stripped from the community. We left them in no doubt that the community of Gortin are deeply angered by this ill thought out decision and handed Ulster Bank a petition with hundreds of signatures opposing the closure."

Continuing on local MLA Declan McAleer said,

"Ulster Bank raised the prospect of a mobile banking service which would visit the area once a week for a couple of hours. We do not feel this is a proper substitute for the people of Gortin.

"Ulster Bank also made the point that alternative banking options are possible but this will prove very challenging in an area that has sporadic broadband coverage and little or no mobile phone coverage.

"At a time when government departments and other agencies are being pressed to rural proof their strategies and policies, Ulster Banks decision flies in the face of recognising exceptional needs in rural areas."