I propose to take Questions Nos. 99 and 101 together.
Ulster Bank Ireland is a significant employer, has 88 branches, has a sizeable market share in terms of mortgage lending and SME lending and it is important in terms of providing competition in the Irish market.
I am aware of the media reports suggesting that NatWest is engaged in a strategic review of its operations and specifically examining options in relation to Ulster Bank Ireland. The Government has no formal role in such a review or any commercial decisions that result, as these are a matter for the Board and Management of the Bank and its parent company, NatWest. I understand that the process is ongoing and that no decisions have been made. I cannot comment further and will not speculate on the possible outcomes.
I would expect Ulster Bank Ireland to ensure that both customers and staff representatives are kept informed about developments in the review and are promptly informed about any decisions. The Bank will also have to keep the Central Bank of Ireland fully informed and comply with its requirements in its decision making process.