Ulster Bank confirms 'phased withdrawal' from Irish market

By Maurice Garvey 

ULSTER Bank has announced a phased withdrawal from the Republic of Ireland over the coming years, a development which will have an impact for customers and staff across South Dublin County.

The bank, which is owned by UK lender NatWest, has 1.1 million customers here, along with 2,800 staff in 88 branches around the country. 

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Ulster Bank in Tallaght  Village is among 88 branches nationwide 

Branches include Tallaght, Walkinstown, Lucan, Palmerstown, Terenure and cashless branches in Clondalkin and Liffey Valley.

Ulster Bank's chief executive Officer Jane Howard said they “want to make it clear that there will be no change for customers today, changes will happen over the coming years.”

"Ulster Bank will continue to offer a full banking service in our branches, online and through normal channels for existing and new customers for the foreseeable future," she said. 

"Customers do not need to take any action as a consequence of this announcement. We will communicate with customers in a timely manner over the coming weeks and months," she added.

Ms Howard also said the bank will now consult with employee representative bodies to determine how best to plan and manage an orderly withdrawal of the bank over the coming years.

As part of the phased withdrawal, Ulster Bank said that a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with AIB has been agreed for the sale of a €4 billion portfolio of performing commercial loans. 

The bank said that staff working on these loans will also transfer to AIB.

It said the potential sale remains subject to due diligence, further negotiation and agreement of final terms and definitive documentation. 

Ulster Banks also said it is in early discussions with Permanent TSB about its potential interest in buying certain retail and SME assets, liabilities and operations. 

It said these discussions may or may not result in agreement. 

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