Warning on debt to farms and business
Ulster Bank has written to a number of its small business and farming customers giving them just weeks to refinance problem debts, or risk their loans being sold off by the bank.
The borrowers are understood to all be behind on payments or otherwise in breach of their original loan terms, and therefore are being managed by Ulster's specialist loan arrears unit.
The bank has now written to the customers warning them that their loans may be bundled up and put on the market for sale.
Mortgages are not affected, and neither are business borrowers that are fully up to date with their loans, a spokeswoman for the bank said.
The affected customers include farms and small and medium enterprises (SME) on both sides of the border.
So-called vulture funds, mainly based in the US, have become large-scale buyers of Irish loans in recent years.
"Ulster Bank is in contact with a number of business customers, who are outside current arrangements or in arrears and under special management in our problem debt management unit, to discuss the potential inclusion of their debt in a future Ulster Bank loan disposal process together with their options for repaying or refinancing their debt in advance of any such process," a spokeswoman for the bank said.