Denmark-headquartered Danske Bank is to axe two more branches in Northern Ireland. The branches to close in Maghera and Dungiven, County Londonderry will reduce Danske’s Ulster branch network to 48 outlets, down from a peak of almost 100 in 2003.

Danske Bank Northern Ireland personal banking managing director Tony Wilcox said: "Consumer behaviour in an increasingly digital world is changing the face of traditional banking.

"Customers now visit branches less frequently and many are using other convenient ways to bank.

"To keep pace with these changes we continue to increase our investment in alternative banking channels such as telephone banking, online banking and mobile banking."

According to the Danske, it ended the first half of 2014 with around 136,000 of its 265,000 Ulster-based current account customers using its online banking service with 85,000 of them also using the bank’s mobile and tablet banking apps.

Danske Bank reported pre-tax profits of £45m in its Northern Ireland operations in the six months to 30 June 2014, compared to a pre-tax loss of around £1m in the corresponding period last year.