Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (125)

Micheál Martin


125. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Finance if he has raised with his UK counterparts their plans for the future of Ulster Bank; his views on the importance of the institution to banking here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31914/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

As the Deputy is aware, the UK Chancellor, Mr George Osborne in his recent Mansion House speech, in dealing with the future of the two UK banks in which the British Exchequer has a significant shareholding, made some references to Ulster Bank in the context of the future orientation of RBS. Earlier that day the Parliamentary Committee on Banking had issued its report and the Chancellor was using the opportunity of his Mansion House speech to provide some initial reaction to the report which contains references to RBS and Ulster Bank.

As the Deputy is aware, the Chancellor has proposed that RBS be split into a good bank and a bad bank. This proposal is the subject of a review to be conducted by the Treasury with external assistance within a short timeframe. As of now, the precise implications for Ulster Bank are unclear but given the important position of the bank in the Irish market it is and will be an issue my officials will be following closely as part of their normal engagement with their UK counterparts. In particular, I expect that my officials will be engaging with the Treasury to offer any necessary assistance that the UK authorities may require on Ulster Bank and in particular its role in the Irish market.