Ulster Bank here to stay, says CEO

Ulster Bank here to stay, says CEO

Ulster Bank has confirmed it will continue operations in Ireland.

The lender's parent company RBS has announced its Irish operation made profits of €485m in the third quarter - and re-affirmed its commitment to the market.

It ends over two years of uncertainty after RBS had previously been tipped to sell the bank off or seek outside investment.

Ulster Bank CEO Jim Brown says that is off the table.

"Ulster Bank is in good shape," he said.

"We've just announced a quarterly profit of £394m, which is our third quarterly profit this year, and importantly RBS has just completed our strategic review and ... they think we've a great market position here.

"We're a good strategic fit with the group and there's great opportunities in Ireland."

In a statement released with results for the third quarter, RBS said it was holding on to the Irish operation and with appropriate investment it will deliver good returns.

“Ulster Bank remains a core part of RBS, offering a good strategic fit with our focused retail and commercial banking strategy,” RBS said.

“We have a good market position and believe that Ulster Bank can deliver attractive returns, with appropriate investment.”

RBS credited Ulster Bank's improved trading to a number of factors including economic growth, the bounce in the property market, lower unemployment, proactive debt management and stable restructuring costs.

Ulster Bank also noted an increase in demand for new lending from personal and business customers this year.

Ross McEwan, RBS chief executive, said: “UK and Ireland are showing signs of growth, and impairment trends are significantly better than we had anticipated at the start of the year.

“We have confirmed today that Ulster Bank remains a core part of our bank.

“We have a good market position and believe that, with investment, Ulster Bank can deliver attractive shareholder returns in the future.

“But we know we still have a long list of conduct and litigation issues to deal with and much, much more to do to restore our customers’ trust in us.”

On the IT problems that severely disrupted business in 2012, Ulster Bank said it expects to begin settlement discussions with the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) before the end of the year.

The results were released as part of trading statements from RBS, which is 80% owned by the UK taxpayer.

It said profits for the third quarter were up to £1.27bn, compared with a loss of £634m in the same period last year.

It is the first time the bank has reported a profit for three quarters in a row since the financial crisis in which the bank nearly collapsed.

As part of the statement it is setting aside £400m to settle foreign exchange rigging allegations.

More on this topic

Ulster Bank not ruling out more sales of bad loans to vulture fundsUlster Bank not ruling out more sales of bad loans to vulture funds

Ulster Bank customers to be charged every time they use their cardUlster Bank customers to be charged every time they use their card

Ulster Bank reporting issues with customers' paymentsUlster Bank reporting issues with customers' payments

Ulster make three changes for Dragons as Reidy set for landmark capUlster make three changes for Dragons as Reidy set for landmark cap

More in this Section

John Lewis and Waitrose staff latest to get coronavirus bonusJohn Lewis and Waitrose staff latest to get coronavirus bonus

Viagogo reduces workforce in Limerick due to Covid-19 spreadViagogo reduces workforce in Limerick due to Covid-19 spread

Covid-19: Ryanair to take €300m hit, but still in profitCovid-19: Ryanair to take €300m hit, but still in profit

Dire US jobs numbers drive further selloff for global markets amid Covid-19 falloutDire US jobs numbers drive further selloff for global markets amid Covid-19 fallout


Lifestyle

We need lots of Vitamin A and D. Liver from lamb, beef, pork and poultry are all rich sources of both Vitamin A and D which work together to boost our resistance.Darina Allen: Let’s concentrate on food that helps to strengthen our immune system

More From The Irish Examiner