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Jobs blow with Halifax closure

EIGHT jobs will be lost in Ennis following the announcement that Halifax is to close its retail banking business in the Republic of Ireland.
A spokesman for the company said that the job losses in Ennis included full and part-time workers and that it is likely that the branch would close in June.
Joe Higgins, chief executive officer of Bank of Scotland (Ireland), said that their decision hadn’t been taken lightly. “It is with deep regret that we announce our intention to close our Halifax retail business and our Bank of Scotland (Ireland) intermediary business in the Republic of Ireland, both for the colleagues who contributed strongly to building these businesses and for the customers who joined us. We have arrived at this difficult position only after an extensive and exhaustive review of all options to secure a viable future for the bank overall and for these businesses. We will be engaging in consultation with our union partners, Unite, and we will be working hard over the coming weeks to ensure the process is as smooth as possible for both colleagues and customers.”
Clare TD Joe Carey said his thoughts were with workers and their families.  “This is a devastating blow for them, especially at this time, when it is very difficult to try and secure alternative employment. The Ennis branch in High Street was the 11th branch to open of their 44-branch network and it opened its doors on April 11, 2006. The bank’s location and its extended opening hours made it attractive for its customers to do business.”
He said there were people who traded with Halifax that need to have their issues addressed and that it was more bad news for the Irish banking system. “There are concerns now regarding the bank’s customers, especially mortgage holders, and it must be clarified immediately if the bank’s mortgage book will be sold on or if their accounts will be transferred to a higher-rate mortgage provider.
“This country’s banking sector has been one of the hardest hit by the global economic crisis and this is another body blow. There could be other casualties, so it is vitally important at this stage that the Minister for Finance makes a statement on the impact that this decision will have and what are the implications for competition in the market.”

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