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Local MLA Justin McNulty has launched an SDLP campaign, calling for the Minister for Economy to take action to save local banks, following the news of mass closure of Bank of Ireland branches, with Crossmaglen and Keady set to close.

Bank of Ireland Crossmaglen. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
Bank of Ireland Crossmaglen. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

Commenting on the campaign the Newry and Armagh MLA said “In the last ten years, communities across Northern Ireland have lost more than half of our High Street banks, more than 100 branch closures. This is the loss of vital financial services to our mostly rural communities.”

“While online banking is convenient for many, it is too often not accessible to elderly people or those with poor internet connection. Local branches are a lifeline for many in our community. They aren’t just bricks and mortar but vital community assets, particularly in the context of a global health and economic crisis.”

“Today, the SDLP have launched a petition to send a clear message to our banks that we will fight for our local branches. We also urge the Minister for the Economy to take action to safeguard access to financial services and work to protect the network of local branches.”

“Banks need to realise their responsibilities to the communities they are supposed to serve. The UK and Irish Governments, using taxpayer money, supported banks through their crisis in 2008 and 2009. Now it is time for those same banks to support wider society through this crisis.”

You can sign the petition at WWW.SDLP.IE

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