SDLP West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan has said that there is deep anger and concern after he was informed that Danske Bank plan to close their Strabane branch, leaving loyal customers in the lurch for banking services.
Mr McCrossan said that with poor broadband connectivity and lower numbers of physical bank branches, elderly people in particular are being forced to hold large sums of money in their own homes making them more vulnerable.
Daniel McCrossan MLA said “I was contacted by Danske Bank today to inform me that they will be closing their Strabane branch in December. This decision was taken after no consultation with local representatives, businesses or loyal customers who rely on their local branch to access banking services.
“This is another example of banks just looking after their own commercial interests and abandoning people in rural communities. It comes as Bank of Ireland have also announced a review of their network. There’s absolutely no sense of obligation to communities that are being stripped of services.
“The end result of this is that local people won’t be able to access banking services in the same way they could in an urban environment. So we’ll have fewer business opportunities, fewer chances to attract new investment and at a community level, elderly people in particular will be forced to hold large sums of money in their own homes making them vulnerable to thieves.
“It’s just totally outrageous. I’ve requested an urgent meeting with the banks to outline these concerns and I’ll be exploring the possibility of bringing legislation at Stormont to protect local banking services.”