Roy Beggs MLA has said existing customers should consider switching their accounts in wake of the announcement by First Trust that their Larne branch is to close on 14 June.
The Ulster Unionist MLA said:
“Very recently the Bank of Ireland announced it was closing its branches in Larne, Carrickfergus and Ballyclare. I said then that the Bank- which is headquartered in the Republic- was effectively withdrawing from East Antrim. Now First Trust, which are also closing in Ballyclare, are following suit.
The reasons given by the two banks are the same- fewer over the counter transactions, and increased use of online banking.
Whilst it is not my position to advise people where to put their money, I would ask the question if these Banks are showing no loyalty to the residents of Larne, should the people of Larne continue to show loyalty to these Banks?
A wider issue is that two prominent Main street sites in Larne are going to become vacant, which is a very unwelcome development. Bank staff will be made redundant or relocated, and fewer people will be in the centre of town to spend money in the shops and cafes on a daily basis. “