Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) Ireland subsidiary Ulster Bank is to axe one in seven of its branches in Northern Ireland.

Nine outlets will close in the fourth quarter reducing Ulster’s branch network in the north of Ireland from 64 to 55 units.

Ulster Bank managing director of personal banking in Northern Ireland Sean Murphy said:  “Banking has changed radically in recent years. More and more of our customers are using digital technology and fewer are using our branch network.

 "Closing a branch is never an easy decision and one we do not take lightly. Recognising that customers expect different services from their bank, we continue to invest in a range of channels to improve access in a sustainable way, such as our Bank on Wheels, 24/7 telephone banking and our services available through the Post Office.”

As recently as 2010, Ulster Bank operated over 140 branches in Northern Ireland

RBS ended 2016 with 174 Ulster branded branches in Ireland (110 in the south and 64 in the north).

Up to 30 of the Ulster-branded branches in Southern Ireland are reportedly set to close in the next 12 months.