A FIFTY per cent loss in banking services in Ballymoney has dealt a serious blow people who live in rural areas where there is restricted access to the internet and where the elderly prefer to do business over the counter.

The First Trust followed the decision of the Bank of Ireland to transfer all business to Coleraine leaving the town with only two major remaining financial institutions – The Danske Bank and the Ulster.

And it’s not certain whether the Ulster will be retained after it too announced branch closures in Northern Ireland, however there is speculation that this branch is set to be retained.

Mayor John Finlay and TUV leader, Jim Allister, both expressed disappointment at the announcements with Mr Allister saying there was no silver lining in all of this for customers.

Both also pointed to the fact that rural dwellers would be worst hit having to travel farther to access branch facilities.

The First Trust Bank announced last week that it will close its branch in Church Street in September just months after the Ballycastle branch also closed. It is understood that staff in Ballymoney will be re-deployed.

TUV councillor William Blair said: “It is cold...