Ulster Bank to cut over 100 jobs at branches nationwide

Compulsory redundancy fears as bank says job losses will be "volunteer-led"

Ulster Bank is to cut 100 Irish job losses as part of a restructuring of its retail branch network. 

Voluntary severance will be offered to some employees but others are feared to be at risk of compulsory redundancy, according to the union representing staff. 

Ulster Bank said in a statement this afternoon that the company is seeking 124 redundancies "on a volunteer-led basis" under a previously announced programme of job losses. 

"As part of this restructure, we are creating 23 new positions in our branch network to ensure we are meeting the changing needs of our customers," the bank said. 

"These are in addition to 11 new retail banking positions being announced in the coming weeks."

However, Financial Services Union (FSU) has said there is “no sound business rationale” for the restructure.

The union insisted today that the job losses will cause “chronic understaffing” and hit customers as well as workers.

Gareth Murphy of the FSU said: “This will not only cause difficulties for the staff who lose their jobs but also for those remaining who will face increased workloads and additional stress.

“Customers are likely to face more queues. Most customers who need advice, prefer to deal with a human being rather than a machine. Many of these queries require time and care.

“Withdrawing staff from this crucial interface with customers does not make any business sense."

The announcement comes after Ulster Bank confirmed yesterday that it plans to sell off 900 owner-occupier mortgages that are in long-term arrears.

The loans, which are valued at €875 million, will be disposed of as part of a larger sell-off of distressed debt.