Ulster Bank say no decision has been taken on future here

Thursday, February 18
Michael Keogh

Ulster Bank said that no decision has been made in regards to its future in the Republic of Ireland.

The bank's chief executive, Jane Howard, was addressing recent speculation that the chain was contemplating a withdrawal from the Irish market.

"This is not how we choose to communicate with you or our customers," she said in a communication to staff this morning.

"However, despite this speculation I can confirm that no decision has been taken," she added.

"You have heard me say before that speculation is outside of our control and again I reiterate that as soon as I can, I will update you," she said.

Speculation about Ulster Bank was revealed after reports that Ulster Bank's parent NatWest, was meeting today to decide on a proposal to withdraw from the Republic of Ireland market. 

Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty warned that if Ulster Bank withdrew from the State it would be a major hammer blow to workers and customers. 

Speaking in the Dáil today, he said such a move could place "upward pressure" on interest rates and added that a "vulture fund" cannot be allowed to acquire Ulster Bank's €20 billion loan book. 

NatWest is due to publish its annual results for 2020 tomorrow.

Ulster bank employs around 2,800 staff in the Republic of Ireland.