Ulster Bank has announced the sale of €7.6bn worth of assets to Permanent TSB as it begins to wind down its involvement in the Irish market.
The assets include Ulster Bank’s non-tracker mortgages, micro-SME business loans, the Lombard Asset Finance business and 25 bank branches.
Some 450 of the bank’s employees will be entitled to switch their employment to PTSB.
The deal is yet to receive approval from the Competition & Consumer Protection Commission, the Central Bank and PTSB shareholders - all of which is expected to occur in late 2022 or early 2023.
As part of the deal, Ulster Bank’s parent company, NatWest, will receive a stake of 16.7% in PTSB.
Customers do not need to take any action for the time being.
Following today’s announcement, please be assured that no action is required by you and there is no change to your products and services at this time.
Please visit https://t.co/Qw1JSIwUyZ for the most up-to-date information. pic.twitter.com/z9BJ4x6WtN
— Ulster Bank (@UlsterBank) December 17, 2021
The bank announced that it was looking to pull out of the Irish market in February - something Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath told Newstalk at the time would be a “very serious blow” for consumers.
However, today his colleague, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, welcomed the news as an opportunity for staff and customers:
“This transaction is a very positive development for PTSB and represents a significant opportunity for the Bank, its stakeholders and its customers to consolidate its position in the Irish banking market and position itself for future growth,” Minister Donohue said.
“For these Ulster Bank borrowers, it provides them with certainty as to the destination of their loans, while depositors will have a choice to move their business to PTSB next year.
"The transaction also provides a large number of Ulster Bank staff with comfort in terms of job security.”
In a statement to the press, Ulster Bank’s Chief Executive, Jane Howard, said she believed the deal would benefit customers:
“I am pleased that our agreement with Permanent TSB has progressed to a binding agreement. While subject to further work and the relevant approvals, there remains no change for potentially impacted customers and we will be in contact with them over the coming weeks to keep them updated.
“Customers do not need to take any action at this time, as a result of this announcement. I am confident that this deal with Permanent TSB will deliver a positive solution for our customers and our colleagues. We will continue to work with our colleagues and their representatives to manage this process in a fair and responsible manner.
“A key part of the process now is to complete the regulatory approvals, this is likely to take a number of months and we will continue to keep our customers informed throughout this process.”
“Today’s announcement is a key milestone in our phased withdrawal from the Republic of Ireland.”
Ulster Bank has been operating in Ireland for over 180 years and has 1.1 million Irish customers.
Main image: A sign outside the Ulster Bank headquarters in Dublin. Picture by: PA.