I thank the committee for inviting us to attend today’s meeting. As the Chairman said, I am joined by Ulster Bank's chief financial officer and deputy CEO, Mr. Paul Stanley; the director of compliance, Ms Fiona McMahon; and the director of corporate affairs, Ms Elizabeth Arnett.
I understand we are constrained by time so rather than read the full statement, I will make some brief opining remarks. On 19 February, we announced our phased withdrawal from Ireland. At the time of the announcement, we made the commitment that it would be phased over an extended period and we signalled our intention to close a deal with AIB and enter into negotiations with Permanent TSB to get to a non-binding agreement.
We said there would be no branch closures this year. We committed to entering into negotiations with colleague representatives, which reached agreements in June. We said there would be no compulsory redundancy departures this year. We have met all those commitments and are hopeful that we will reach an agreement with Permanent TSB. The AIB deal and any Permanent TSB deal remains subject to regulatory approvals.
That leaves us with a body of work, which includes account closures supported by our Choose, Move and Close campaign where our priority is to provide as much help and support to our customers as possible as they transition to their new provider and finding a suitable path for remaining assets and then managing any remaining activities. There will be no branch closures in the first half of 2022 and there will be no bank-wide voluntary redundancy in that period. We will ensure a phased withdrawal over time and with due consideration to our customers and colleagues.
Finally, I want to take a moment to talk about our colleagues who have worked tremendously hard over the past ten months. It has been a challenging time for everyone but their commitment to customers has never wavered and their resilience in the face of unprecedented change will be forever to their credit. I want to thank them again for that dedication.
I thank the members of the committee. We are happy to take questions but I caution the members that some matters that may be raised might be commercially sensitive and could impact on negotiations which are under way. It would be more appropriate to discuss those aspects directly with us later.