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22 Jan 2022

Donegal's Ulster Bank employees given good news about their future under new owners

An agreement has been reached with PTSB

Ulster Bank Donegal Town SMCN

Good news for staff at Ulster Bank, Donegal Town. PHOTO: Siobhán McNamara

Staff at Donegal's four branches of Ulster Bank have been informed that a deal with PTSB to take over the running of the bank includes them retaining their jobs.

The deal also means there will be a relatively seamless changeover for many of the bank's Donegal customers. 

The bank which has been winding down operations for some time has branches in Killybegs, Donegal Town, Ballybofey, and Buncrana.

On Friday, Ulster Bank Ireland DAC (trading as Ulster Bank) announced that a previous non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NatWest Group plc and Permanent TSB Group Holdings (trading as Permanent TSB) had moved to a legally binding agreement. 

The proposed sale comprises a total of approximately €7.6bn gross performing loans as at June 30, 2021, the majority relating to performing non-tracker mortgages as well as performing loans in our micro-SME business; Ulster Bank’s Lombard Asset Finance business, including the Lombard digital platform, and a subset of 25 Ulster Bank branch locations.

As part of the non-binding MOU in July, it was confirmed that employees in the branch locations designated to be acquired by Permanent TSB, would have a right to transfer under TUPE regulations if and when a deal was finalised.  This is anticipated to be around 450 staff members nationwide.

Ulster Bank Chief Executive Jane Howard said: “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.”

Completion is expected to occur in phases between the last quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023. The majority of loans are expected to transfer in the last quarter of 2022.

A statement issued by Ulster Bank reads: "As completion is subject to obtaining regulatory and other approvals and other conditions being satisfied, completion may not occur when expected or at all.  As part of the consideration for the transaction, NatWest Group plc will receive a minority non-consolidating equity stake of 16.66% in Permanent TSB. This transaction is subject to obtaining regulatory approvals.

"There is no need for any Ulster Bank customers to take any action. If they are potentially impacted by today’s announcement, we will be in contact with them directly and letters and emails will be sent to potentially impacted customers as soon as possible between now and early January.

"There are other customers and customer products which are not covered by today’s announcement and we will update on those as we can. While performing tracker mortgages are not part of today’s agreement, Ulster Bank and NatWest Group plc are working on a pathway for these customers and a process is underway in this regard.

"There is no change to the other commitments which Ulster Bank has made – we do not envision a bank-wide voluntary redundancy scheme in H1 2022 and we do not anticipate closing any branches in H1 2022."

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