Allied Irish Banks (AIB) has announced plans to close eight branches in Northern Ireland in November.

According to a BBC report, the decision was taken following a strategic review of the business.

The branches which are set to shutter are located at Bangor, Coleraine, Glengormley, Kilkeel, Lisburn, Lurgan, Newcastle and Omagh.

After the closures, the lender will have seven branches in Northern Ireland.

AIB noted that there has been a 33% decline in the number of active customers using branches. The bank also witnessed a 53% surge in digital payments since 2017.

AIB Northern Ireland head of retail Brian Gillan was quoted by the publication as saying: “The ‘digital first’ customer transition, which has been an industry-wide trend over the past four years, has accelerated dramatically due to the Covid-19 pandemic as even more people adapted to online platforms.

“These undeniable and irreversible trends have in turn influenced our strategy and led to the decision to close branches that are no longer sustainable.”

AIB also said that it will assist the affected employees with other opportunities including relocating them within the company.

A voluntary severance programme will also be available.

Notably, Danske Bank and Bank of Ireland have already announced that they will reduce their brick-and-mortar presence in Northern Ireland.

Danske Bank will close four branches, while Bank of Ireland will shutter 15 of its 28 locations.