Danske Bank is to pull out of its Irish retail operations to concentrate on its corporate customers, resulting in the loss of 150 jobs.
The bank is the second foreign-headquartered bank to announce its retreat from Ireland in a week, after Rabobank revealed on 25 October that it plans to pull the plug on ACCBank next year.
Larry Broderick, general secretary of the Irish Bank Officials’ Association, said he was shocked by the news. He said: "This announcement is particularly traumatic for Danske Bank workers in the Republic of Ireland as it is likely to result in compulsory redundancy for many.
"We have urged Danske Bank Group to reconsider this decision in the interests of its Irish customers as well as its staff. It is disappointing that Danske Bank is moving to withdraw still further to the obvious detriment of its customers and its staff."
The withdrawal will also threaten jobs in Danske Bank’s arm in Northern Ireland, with up to 90 jobs in danger there. The Northern Ireland division has just returned to profit with the company pre-tax profits of £1.4m ($2.2m) so far this year.
In contrast, the bank has lost 34m ($46m) in the Republic of Ireland this year.
Broderick said: "We will enter discussions with the Bank at the earliest opportunity in an effort to ensure that any redundancies are implemented on a voluntary basis.
"We will also focus on the terms of the redundancy compensation in view of the huge impact of the closure on our members."