UB plans phased withdrawal from Irish market

Ulster Bank has a net loan book of €20 billion and almost €22 billion of deposits, some 1.1 million personal and business customers and 88 branches.

Ulster Bank has announced it is to wind-down and withdraw from the Republic of Ireland market completely.

The third biggest lender in the State, its parent company NatWest said it will begin a “phased withdrawal” from the Republic of Ireland over the coming years. This would be “managed” in an orderly and “considered manner,” NatWest assured.

Ulster Bank Limited’s banking business in Northern Ireland will remain.

“Following an extensive review and despite the progress that has been made, it has become clear Ulster Bank will not be able to generate sustainable long terms returns for our shareholders,” said NatWest chief executive Alison Rose in a statement.

“As a result, we are to begin a phased withdrawal from the Republic of Ireland over the coming years which will be undertaken with careful consideration of the impact on customers and our colleagues.”

Ulster Bank has a net loan book of €20 billion and almost €22 billion of deposits, some 1.1 million personal and business customers and 88 branches.

It has about a 15 per cent share of the mortgage market, 20 per cent of small business (SME) lending and a strong corporate banking business.

NatWest said it plans to sell an estimated €4 billion of performing commercial loans to AIB.

It has also begun talks with Permanent TSB (PTSB) and other strategic banking companies about their potential interest in buying “certain retail and SME assets, liabilities and operations”.

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