It has been announced that Ulster Bank is going to start a phased withdrawal from the Irish market.

Ulster Bank

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The Financial Services Union has described as ‘constructive’ a meeting it held with Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe over the closure of Ulster Bank.

The discussion focused on job certainty for staff, terms and conditions and the retention of the branch structure.

The bank says it has no intention of closing branches this year or laying off extra staff, despite its decision to exit the Irish market.

Review

The announcement of a “phased withdrawal” follows a strategic review by UK parent company, NatWest, into its operations here.

Ulster Bank CEO Jane Howard has explained why the decision to exit the Irish market has been taken:

“Things like the low interest rates environment impact income, and then on the cost side, we need to continue to invest heavily in technology to compete with the new entrants.

“So it comes back to lower income and not much prospect of that increasing when we’re in a low interest rate environment, and also increasing costs.”