Thursday, 24 September 2020

Questions (99, 101)

Mick Barry

Question:

99. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Finance if he will report on his discussions with a bank (details supplied); if he will be in contact with the bank; his views on the impact of job losses and a loss of banking services to the public should the bank be sold; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26104/20]

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Mick Barry

Question:

101. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Finance his plans to meet with representatives of the employees of a bank (details supplied) to discuss concerns over the withdrawal of the bank from the market. [26106/20]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

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.