Ulster Bank plans to make a further 813 staff redundant in the Republic over the next 12 months, according to the lender’s main trade union, as it continues to wind down its operations here at pace.
The move is in addition to 800 redundancies announced between November and February, under which employee exits are still ongoing, according to the Financial Services Union (FSU).
The UK-owned lender had about 2,400 employees in the Republic last autumn, before the initial lay-off plans were announced and a further 600 staff elected to move with loans being sold to AIB and Permanent TSB under employment transfer arrangements.
Ulster Bank, led by chief executive Jane Howard, closed its remaining 63 branches in the Republic last month, after selling 25 other outlets to Permanent TSB.
“Today is a sad and difficult day for all Ulster Bank staff and their families who have given so much to the bank and its customers over many years,” said Gareth Murphy, head of industrial relations and campaigns with the FSU.
“These are very skilled, professional staff, who know and understand the financial needs of business and people. It is important their knowledge and skill sets are not lost to the wider financial services sector.”
Staff have been invited to apply for voluntary redundancy under the latest round before June 7th.
“This programme will see colleagues leave the bank as their work ceases or significantly diminishes over the course of 2023 and 2024, and we expect there will be no further bank-wide redundancy programmes this year,” said Ms Howard.
“Each redundancy programme announcement is a significant moment for our bank, with a personal impact for our colleagues, and I reiterate my ongoing and sincere gratitude to colleagues for the dedication they have shown and for the important work and support that they continue to provide to our customers and each other.”
An agreement struck between the bank and the FSU in 2021, ahead of the inevitable rounds of job cuts, will result in exiting staff receiving five weeks’ pay for each year of service, inclusive of statutory entitlements, or four weeks per year, plus statutory, whichever is greater.
Ulster Bank said last month that since it started a campaign in early 2022 to get customers to move their banking, 99 per cent of personal current and deposit accounts have either been closed, remained inactive or seen customers wind down to low levels of activity. The same has applied to more than 90 per cent of business accounts.
The bank has previously signalled that it would be next year at the earliest before it returns its licence to the Central Bank.