Will RBS sell Ulster Bank?

Reports suggest that the British banking group is reconsidering its decision to keep the Irish financial institution

Will RBS sell Ulster Bank?

INPHO/Dan Sheridan

There are fresh reports that Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster Bank’s UK parent, may reconsider selling the bank over the next two years.

Bloomberg quotes an unnamed person with knowledge of the matter and suggests that RBS’s chief executive, Ross McEwan could revisit the issue as early as next year.

The British group scrapped plans to sell Ulster Bank last year having injected about €20bn in fresh capital into the Irish bank following its property-led lending crash.

Spokespersons for both RBS and Ulster have stressed this morning that the strategy to not sell the bank “remains unchanged.”

RBS has split Ulster into two divisions in Ireland, with operations in Northern Ireland reporting directly into the UK while a new chief executive, Gerry Mallon, has recently been appointed to run operations in the Republic of Ireland.

It has been reported that it would be extremely complicated to separate the bank from the rest of the group - and that this was one of the factors which resulted in RBS deciding to not sell the Irish bank.