The Bank of Ireland is to shut a third of its branches as it reaches a digital "tipping point" between online and offline transactions.
The bank is to shutter 88 outlets in the Republic, reducing its network from 257 to 169, while in Northern Ireland the network will be reduced by 15 from 28 to 13.
The move is expected to generate €26 million in annualised cost savings.
Francesca McDonagh, Bank of Ireland CEO, says: For many years, the trend to digital banking has been evident, with customers using branches less and less. Covid-19 has accelerated this changing behaviour, and we’ve seen a seismic shift towards digital banking over the past 12 months. We’ve now reached a tipping point in customer preferences between online and offline banking."
She says 70% of customers are now digitally active, with a 26% increase in customers registering for the new mobile app since launch.
The branch closure programme comes as part of a new three-year strategy to trim costs to €1.5 billion, entailing a reduction in 1400 full time roles achieved through voluntary redundancies. Up to 200 jobs will be impacted by the branch takedowns, which will mostly hit umanned outlets.