In a further blow to the community of the Clogher Valley area, it has been announced that a second bank is to close leaving the area without a bank.

The Ulster Bank in Clogher will close soon alongside branches in; Holywood, Warrenpoint, Dunmurry, Antrim, Ballymoney, Larne, Comber and Maghera.

The bank said it was making the move as more customers moved toward digital services. The move from Ulster Bank comes less than a week after Danske Bank announced the closure of their Fivemiletown branch.

READ MORE: Danske Bank Fivemiletown closure: Concerns raised for businesses and residents

A spokesperson for Ulster Bank said: "As with many industries, most of our customers are shifting to mobile and online banking because it’s faster and easier for people to manage their financial lives.  

“We understand and recognise that digital solutions aren’t right for everyone or every situation and that when we close branches we have to make sure that no one is left behind.

“We take our responsibility seriously to support the people who face challenges in moving online, so we are investing to provide them with support and alternatives that work for them."

The Ulster Bank has indicated that "close to 90 per cent of retail banking customer needs are now met digitally and around half of our customers bank entirely digitally."

A spokesperson added: "All closing branches are within 1 mile of a free to use ATM. And our partnership with the Post Office enables customers to withdraw and deposit cash at any of their branches."

Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA, Deborah Erskine  expressed her disappointment and anger at another Bank Branch closure in the Clogher Valley area.

Mrs Erskine said: “This announcement represents another blow to the rural area. It comes within a week of Fivemiletown Danske Bank Branch being announced for closure. Both of these branches will be closed in September.

"Local people and businesses will now have to travel further to reach their nearest branch. For some people this could represent a 45 minute one way journey. In the face of high fuel costs, poor infrastructure and the need for better public transport, how is this decision right when you look at a rural needs analysis?

She continued: "For some people online banking is great but when you need to deposit a cheque, speak to a bank manager or cash money - we need a facility to do that. Online banking is not the solution for everyone.

"Furthermore it is very difficult news for staff in Ulster and Danske Bank Branches."

She concluded: "I have a meeting set up with Danske Bank and hope to meet with Ulster Bank. The importance of such services in the rural community can not be underestimated.”