Announcement of closure of Granard's Bank of Ireland branch a 'kick in the teeth' for rural Ireland

Bank of Ireland 'showing no regard for customers'

Jessica Thompson

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Jessica Thompson

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jessica.thompson@longfordleader.ie

Announcement of closure of Granard's Bank of Ireland branch a 'kick in the teeth' for rural Ireland

Bank of Ireland has included its Granard branch in a list of 103 branches that are facing closure this coming September.

The banking giant has reported an underlying loss of €354m before tax for 2020, reflecting large losses as a result of bad loans during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"This is a big shock to Granard and thoughts are with the staff who will be losing their jobs in the town," said Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council, Paull Ross, following the announcement this morning.

"It is particularly bad, following the news only last week that Ulster Bank would be pulling out. This is a huge hit to Granard because they had two banks and now they'll have no banks.

"Since the Covid-19 recession, there has been an emphasis on supporting towns and town centres, so this is a kick in the teeth. It's all well and good talking about going online but there is a large group of people who are still without high speed broadband or who are not tech savvy.

"Bank of Ireland is showing no regard for the customers who have supported them for so many years. This is a sad day for rural Ireland."