On Friday morning, staff at the many Bank of Scotland branches in Ireland were told the company would be closing it’s doors in the Republic by December.

The bank has exhausted their growth potential within the Irish market and are closing up shop.

BoSI has been in business in Ireland for ten years but, like all banks, was badly affected by the property crash.

It loaned over €13.3bn for development and investment property in Ireland; €6bn of this was for property development.

Existing customers will not be affected by its decision, the bank has said.

Customer accounts will be transferred to Bank of Scotland plc and be administrated by an independent service company to ensure a smooth transition.

Most of the 800 BoSI employees will be able to transfer to the independent service company including existing senior management.

A spokesman for the bank said there would be up to 36 compulsory redundancies.

A few weeks ago the company closed its 44 Halifax branches. 750 people lost their jobs.

According to the union representing the BoSI staff, UNITE, workers are “in shock”
following Friday's announcement.’

In a statement the union said that its members are having to “come to terms with the fact that job security is now seriously compromised by what is in effect a long term winding down of the Irish operation”.

Brian Gallagher UNITE regional organizer said, “Lloyds Bank may look upon this as a balance sheet exercise but the impact on workers who had pledged their future to the bank is devastating.

'The implications of today's announcement for our members and their careers are massive, and UNITE will consult widely with staff in the coming days before we go into discussion with management', he said.

Fine Gael political party member Kieran O’Donnell said the announcement meant a “dark day for the 36 staff losing their jobs.”

Joan Burton, Depity Leader of the Labour party said the BoSI’s exit from Ireland is just another example of how badly the Taoiseach Brian Cowen is handling the Irish economy.