Source: Sinn Féin
26 November, 2020 – by Pearse Doherty TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has today raised the future of Ulster Bank with the Minister for Finance in the Dáil.
Ulster Bank currently operates five branches in County Donegal in Killybegs, Donegal Town, Ballybofey, Letterkenny and Buncrana.
Teachta Doherty said that Ulster Bank plays a key role in our communities, supporting businesses and provides local jobs to 3,000 people in towns and cities across the State, with an 88-strong branch network.
It has been confirmed that NatWest, the parent company of Ulster Bank, is undertaking a Strategic Review of the Ulster Bank’s operations and future in the State. Amid growing fears that a full withdrawal of Ulster Bank from the State is on the cards, Deputy Doherty raised the issue with the Minister for Finance and told the Minister that the closure of Ulster Bank would be bad for its customers, its staff and the Irish banking sector.
Teachta Doherty said:
“This is a worrying time for customers and staff of Ulster Bank in Donegal and across the State.
“In 2019, Ulster Bank provided €3.1 billion in new lending in the Southern economy. It provides 20 percent of lending to our SMEs. With deposits of €22 billion, Ulster Bank is the third largest mortgage lender in the State. Its withdrawal would lead to a duopoly in the mortgage market, stifling competition and leaving all of us vulnerable to higher interest rates.
“There is speculation that Cerberus, one of the most aggressive vulture funds in this State, are considering buying up Ulster Bank’s entire €20.5 billion loan book. This would be a very worrying development for those customers.
“The news relating to Ulster Bank’s future has been worrying for quite some time. Today, I specifically asked the Minister to intervene, to redouble his efforts in engaging with the bank and stakeholders to give certainty to customers and staff.
“I have also written to the Governor of the Central Bank regarding the possible withdrawal of Ulster Bank, and its impact on customers and competition within the banking market.
“I believe that the withdrawal of Ulster Bank from the Irish market would threaten competition in the Irish market, with no clarity and no certainty for thousands of staff, customers, mortgage holders and small businesses. This is a grave situation.”
A clip from today’s Dáil contribution will be available at: https://www.facebook.com/PearseDohertyTD/