Halifax – the retail banking arm of Bank of Scotland (Ireland) – is closing all it’s 44 branches in Ireland. Halifax is pulling out of the Irish market and is no longer taking on any new customers as from 10th February 2010 . Branch closures will begin from May 2010. All Halifax branches in Ireland are expected to be closed by the end June 2010. About 750 jobs will be lost.
These closures were predicted in the Sunday Tribune as far back as July 2009.
Mortgages, personal loans and fixed rate savings with Halifax will still operate to maturity – but deposits in Halifax that are not fixed term will have to be taken elsewhere.
See our list of the Best Savings Rates here for alternatives.
Halifax – as recently as April 2009 had the lowest mortgage rate in Ireland – but a sudden increase in May was probably a result of problems at parent group Lloyds. They are often credited with the introduction of tracker mortgages to Ireland – which other lenders soon copied.
Lloyds took over Halifax Bank Of Scotland (HBOS) in January 2009 and was “bailed out” by the UK government – which now owns 43% of Lloyds.
The closure of Halifax means that their Flexisaver account will be replaced at the top of our Instant Access Best Buys by another UK bank – Nationwide UK (Ireland) .
Halifax customers are being told that they “do not need to do anything at this stage and all their savings and investments remain secure. All affected customers will be contacted shortly on what the next steps are, if any.”
Bank of Scotland (Ireland) are also withdrawing from the Irish mortgage market but they say they are ” committed to maintaining a strong presence in the commercial and corporate banking markets in Ireland.”
The Bank of Scotland (Ireland) intermediary business, which provides residential mortgages through brokers, motor finance and commercial asset finance, will close to new business but will continue serving existing customers.