The Ulster Bank branch in Ardara.
Negotiations to sell the former Ulster Bank building in Ardara to the local credit union are at an advanced stage.
The sale, which has been in the pipeline for several months, will be a boost to the confidence of the economy of south west Donegal following the closure of the Ulster Bank branch in the town last year.
The proposed purchase of the bank by the Ballyshannon and Killybegs Credit Union was announced to members at its AGM earlier this year.
Very close to deal
Ballyshannon and Killybegs Credit Union declined to comment when contacted but it is understood that a deal to agree the sale of the former bank is very close.
The acquisition would be a significant expansion for the credit union which has a branch on Ardara's Main Street.
The move will be a welcome one for Ardara and the surrounding area after the closure of the Ulster Bank last year.
Hundreds attended a meeting in the town to protest against last year’s closure of the bank and a local tourism group described it as a ‘devastating blow’.
The closure of the branch in Ardara was one of two closures in Donegal as Ulster Bank also closed its branch in Raphoe.
The closures in Donegal were part of 22 branch closures across the country.
The credit union has branches in Ballyshannon, Killybegs, Ardara, Glenties and Pettigo.
It’s common bond area, the area in which it can operate, stretches from Kinlough to Ballintra and from Inver Bridge to the Gweebarra Bridge.
The credit union has just under 13,000 members and is continuing to grow year on year.
Last year it welcomed 541 new members and saw an 11% increase in its loan book.
Service has increased to see it open six days a week across its five branches.
The Ballyshannon and Killybegs Credit Union has a €1.9m operating surplus and a loan book of €17.3m.
It also has assets worth €49m and has 425 million investments. The credit union has €3,900 of donations and sponsorships within the local community.
Ballyshannon and Killybegs Credit Union was formed as a merger by the Ballyshannon and Killybegs credit unions in 2016.