Ulster Bank has announced plans to wind down its business in Ireland and close branches over the coming years. Here’s what the Ulster Bank announcement means for you.
After what’s described as an ‘extensive review’ NatWest which owns Ulster Bank has decided to withdraw all of its banking activity from the Republic of Ireland over the next few years.
Details are still being finalised, but this means that Ulster Bank will eventually close its doors to all Irish customers after trading since 1836.
The most recent announcement on 23 July 2021, confirmed Ulster Bank and its parent NatWest Group have agreed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Permanent TSB Group, relating to the sale of:
The proposed sale includes around €7.6bn gross performing loans, mainly relating to non-tracker mortgages, and Permanent TSB Group is in line to acquire 25 of Ulster Bank’s 88 branches.
However, the sale is subject to many more regulatory checks and a final binding agreement - and may not happen at all.
Not all customers and products are covered by this MOU, for example performing tracker mortgages. They are working on a similar solution for you and will update as soon as possible.
Eventually all of the remaining Ulster Bank branches in Ireland will close, but this won’t happen for a little while yet.
For the time being Ulster Bank branches remain open and will continue to do so for the rest of 2021.
Permanent TSB Group are in negotiations about acquiring 25 of the 88 branches, but it’s not yet been confirmed which branches this relates to.
There is no immediate change to how your account with Ulster Bank will be operated, you can continue to use it without any change.
What happens over the next few years will depend on the type of account you have with UIster Bank and what agreements it makes with other Irish banks to take over their business.
If you have an Ulster Bank mortgage you don’t need to make any changes for the time being, you should continue to pay your mortgage as normal.
If you have applied for a mortgage with Ulster Bank your application should be able to progress as normal, including if you have an approval in principle in place or are waiting to drawdown your mortgage funds.
This depends on your circumstances:
Ulster Bank has confirmed that if it sells its mortgage loan book to another lender it will honour its customers existing terms, including mortgage rates and terms.
All of your mortgage related questions should be covered in their FAQ support section.
If you have a current account with Ulster Bank you can continue to use it as normal at least for the time being.
Your existing bank arrangements, including Direct Debits, standing orders and other regular payment agreements are unaffected by the Ulster Bank announcement.
You will be contacted in plenty of time and given the support you need to move banks or close your account.
If you have an Ulster Bank credit card you can continue to use it as normal.
You should also continue to make at least the minimum payment every month on time, even though these cards will be withdrawn at some point you’ll still need to pay back everything you owe.
Savings accounts held by Ulster Bank are unaffected and you’ll continue to be paid any interest you earn on your savings.
Ulster Bank currently offers a range of insurance policies including:
All of these policy terms should continue to be honoured by the company underwriting them.
Ulster Bank is withdrawing all “its banking activity and associated services” so business customers will also be affected by this decision.
A legally binding agreement has been agreed with Allied Irish Banks (AIB), on 28 June 2021, for the sale of a €4.2bn portfolio of performing loan products (and up to €2.8bn of undrawn exposures) from the Commercial Banking Division. All the necessary regulatory approvals are likely to take a number of months.
If this affects you, you’ll be contacted in plenty of time with the action you need to take, or you can visit their business support FAQ page for further information.
Ulster Bank has confirmed that there will be no compulsory redundancies for staff in 2021, but this is still a worrying time for those who work at the bank.
The binding agreement with AIB Ulster Bank relating to the sale of performing loans from the commercial division will see the transfer of staff who are assigned to this loan book.
If you’re affected by the Ulster Bank announcement, you can find out more about your rights by reading our guide to your redundancy rights.
Yes, for the time being, Ulster Bank are still open to new customers.
Yes, you’ll still need to continue to make any payments on your loan.
It’s likely that Ulster Bank will sell its loans to another bank at some point and you will then owe the balance to them.
No, the Northern Ireland part of the business is not affected by this announcement and will continue to trade as normal.