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Ulster Bank eyes swift deal with PTSB, reveals tracker mortgage ‘process’


Ulster Bank CEO Jane Howard. Photo: Shane O'Neill, SON Photographic

Ulster Bank CEO Jane Howard. Photo: Shane O'Neill, SON Photographic

Ulster Bank CEO Jane Howard. Photo: Shane O'Neill, SON Photographic

Ulster Bank expects to complete a deal with Permanent TSB for its mortgage book “in the very near future” and said there is a “process underway” for its tracker mortgages.

However, chief executive Jane Howard said she could not reveal any more information about a possible tracker sale.

She pledged to avoid branch closures and “bank wide” redundancies in the first half of 2022, and said she hoped to complete the Permanent TSB deal and a recent binding agreement with AIB for its business loans by late next year.

Speaking to the Oireachtas joint finance committee on Wednesday, Ms Howard said the transfer of its loan books and assets should be done by the third or fourth quarters of next year, pending probes by the state’s competition watchdog.

“We’ve drawn up as well scenarios where that might be later,” Ms Howard said.

“We have plans: ideally we’d like to see the majority of the assets moved next year, but clearly there are dependencies on getting regulatory approvals.”

She said it would be “later next year”. “We’re talking Q3, Q4,” she said.

Ms Howard also revealed that there was also a “process underway” for selling its tracker mortgage book, but would give no further details.

The €7.6bn deal with Permanent TSB (PTSB) is made up largely of performing mortgages - excluding tracker mortgages - and around €300m in micro-SME loans, Ulster Bank estimated on Wednesday.

Ulster Bank also intends to transfer 25 of its 88 branches to PTSB as part of the sale.

“Both parties are working very hard on diligence and the aspects and steps that we need to go through and I would be hopeful that we should be able to reach that in the very near future,” Ms Howard said of the PTSB deal.

The bank is still waiting to hear whether an earlier deal with AIB will clear a competition probe or be subject to further scrutiny.

Ms Howard said the competition and consumer protection commission had indicated it will give further guidance on that in January.

AIB confirmed the deal for the transfer of €4.2bn of performing corporate and commercial loans from Ulster Bank in June, pending regulatory approval.

AIB said it would migrate the loan book over 12-18 months.