What the Ulster Bank closure means for you

Ulster Bank has announced plans to wind down its business in Ireland and close branches by April 21st 2023. Here’s what the Ulster Bank announcement means for you.

What date is Ulster Bank leaving Ireland?

In February 2021, Ulster Bank announced a phased withdrawal of all its banking activity and financial services within the Republic of Ireland.

Ulster bank’s remaining branches will cease all transactions with customers by the 31st of March 2023. All remaining branches will close by the 21st of April 2023.

This means that after the 31st of March, customers will no longer be able to:

  • Make cash or cheque lodgements at the counter or through internal automation devices
  • Withdraw money in branch (except through an ATM)

The bank will still offer services on their website, phone banking and on their app until all customer accounts are frozen.

How does this affect you?

Ulster Bank will notify you of any changes to your accounts and products and any action you need to take when necessary.

When you get a letter from Ulster Bank asking you to close your account, you’ll have six months to switch or close your bank account. If you don’t close your account within the six-month time frame, Ulster Bank will close your account and issue a cheque for any remaining sum.

The first customers to receive notice are account holders with low reliance on these accounts or have accounts elsewhere.

Ulster Bank commenced the freezing of current and deposit accounts on the 11th of November 2022. Customers who received their six-month notice in April 2022, will begin to see their accounts frozen on or after the 11th of November and close 30 days later.

Why is Ulster Bank closing?

The announcement on the 23rd of 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:

  • performing loans relating to non-tracker mortgages.
  • performing loans and overdrafts in their micro-SME business
  • Ulster Bank’s Lombard Asset Finance business, including the Lombard digital platform
  • a subset of Ulster Bank branch locations

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.

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 you as soon as possible.

Which Ulster Bank branches are closing?

All of the remaining Ulster Bank branches in Ireland will close on the 31st of March 2023. Permanent TSB Group have acquired 25 of the 88 branches in:

Ardee, Ballyjamesduff, Blackrock, Blanchardstown Village, Celbridge, Enniscorthy, Kilcock, Lucan, Ranelagh, Rochestown Avenue, Swords Pavilions, Athenry, Ballybofey, Ballyconnell, Belmullet, Donegal, Eyre Square, Killybegs, Shannon, Thurles, Tuam, Westport, and Wilton.

What will happen to your Ulster Bank account?

All current and deposit accounts that have passed their six month notice period are now queued for closure, with the exception of vulnerable customers.

If you have received a letter, you should start the process of switching or closing your account.

Do you need to do anything?

Mortgage holders

Ulster Bank is selling its performing mortgages (those not in arrears) to Permanent TSB.

If you have an Ulster Bank mortgage you should continue to pay your mortgage as normal. The bank will write to you if there’s anything you need to do.

If you’re a customer coming to the end of your fixed rate mortgage, you’ll have the choice to move to one of PTSB’s variable or fixed rates.

What if you have an Approval in Principle from Ulster Bank?

If you have an Approval in Principle in place before the 29th April 2022, this will be valid for the validity period on your Approval in Principle letter.

Existing Ulster Bank customers who wanted to make a mortgage application could only apply for a mortgage loan up to the close of business on 10th June 2022.

Should you switch elsewhere?

This depends on your circumstances:

  • If your existing mortgage rate deal has finished and you’ve moved onto the Ulster Bank standard variable rate you should consider switching your mortgage to save money.
  • If you’re tied into a fixed rate mortgage you’ll probably have to pay an early repayment charge to allow you to switch to a different mortgage lender. This could make it too expensive meaning you’re better off waiting for the time being.
  • If you have a tracker mortgage note that this type of mortgage is no longer widely available to new customers, so speak to an adviser at Ulster Bank. You can get the latest information about the closure on the Ulster Bank website.

Ulster Bank has confirmed it will honour its customer’s existing terms, including mortgage rates and terms, for all mortgage customers moving to PTSB.

All of your mortgage related questions should be covered in their FAQ support section.

See our lowest rate mortgages

Current account holders

You should close your Ulster Bank current account after you get a letter requesting that you do. You’ll have six months from the time of the letter.

You will be contacted in plenty of time and given the support you need to move banks or close your account, including your existing bank arrangements, Direct Debits, standing orders and other regular payment agreements.

See the best current accounts

Credit card holders

Ulster Bank credit cards won’t work after the 22nd of March 2023. You’ll also need to pay €30 government stamp duty before your account is closed.

Savings account holders

Ulster Bank current and deposit accounts will not transfer to another provider automatically, so you should make arrangements to move and close your Ulster Bank accounts.

What about Ulster Bank insurance policies?

Ulster Bank currently offers a range of insurance policies including:

  • Car insurance which is underwritten by Aviva
  • Home insurance which is underwritten by Aviva
  • Life insurance which is underwritten by Irish Life Assurance plc

All of these policy terms should continue to be honoured by the company underwriting them.

What about business customers?

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 28th of 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 FAQs

Are Ulster Bank branches still open?

Ulster bank’s remaining branches will cease all transactions with customers by the 31st of March 2023. This means that after this date, customers will no longer be able to:

  • Make cash or cheque lodgements at the counter or through internal automation devices
  • Withdraw money in branch (except through ATM service)

Ulster Bank will still offer services via their website, phone banking and on their app until all customer accounts are frozen.

Do I need to carry on paying my Ulster Bank loan?

Yes, you’ll still need to continue making any loan payments.

It’s likely your loan has been transferred to PTSB, so you will then owe the balance to them.

Will Ulster Bank branches in Northern Ireland close?

No, this announcement does not affect the Northern Ireland part of the business and will continue to trade as normal.

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Warning: If you do not keep up your repayments you may lose your home. Warning: The cost of your monthly repayments may increase. Warning: You may have to pay charges if you pay off a fixed rate loan early. Warning: If you do not meet the repayments on your loan, your account will go into arrears. This may affect your credit rating, which may limit your ability to access credit in the future. Warning: The entire amount that you have borrowed will still be outstanding at the end of the interest-only period. The payment rates on this housing loan may be adjusted by the lender from time to time. (applies to variable rate loans only) Information provided and Interest rates quoted valid at 25/01/2023