ULSTER Bank has confirmed it's to withdraw from the Republic of Ireland on a phased basis over the coming years.
As was widely expected, the decision was made following a strategic review by its parent company, NatWest.
In a statement confirming the decision to exit the Irish market, the bank said there will be no branch closures or compulsory redundancies during 2021 and that customers do not need to do anything in the short term.
“The decision by NatWest to withdraw from this market is hugely disappointing and today will be a difficult and worrying time for our colleagues across the Bank. It may also lead to customer questions and concerns as to how this decision may impact them and their day-to-day banking needs," commented Ulster Bank Chief Executive Officer, Jane Howard
“I want to be 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. 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.
The bank says it has agreed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with AIB regarding the potential sale of its portfolio of performing commercial loans which are valued in the region of €4b,
Early discussions with Permanent TSB and other strategic banking counterparties are underway regarding other parts of the business.
“We will engage with customers, colleagues, their representatives and our communities in the coming months to listen to their concerns and to work with them and alongside them and to update on how change will be responsibly managed through the phased withdrawal process. Despite the disappointment of this decision, Ulster Bank and NatWest, will work hard to minimise the impact on colleagues and customers and ultimately to provide a successful banking transition for customers. In the meantime, we remain open for business across all of our channels for both existing and new customers," said Jane Howard.
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