Kenny 'unaware' of Ulster Bank split proposal

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he has not seen any proposal from the British government on a purchase of Ulster Bank.

Kenny 'unaware' of Ulster Bank split proposal

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he has not seen any proposal from the British government on a purchase of Ulster Bank.

It follows claims the UK Treasury want Ulster Bank taken over by the Department of Finance here in return for NAMA assets in Britain.

Speaking this morning, the Taoiseach said he is not aware of any formal proposal.

"I met with Ulster Bank last week and we were very clear in our view of clarity from them about their continued existence here in Ireland," Mr Kenny said.

"We had a big discussion about that (and) I haven't seen the detail of the proposal you are speaking about."

Yesterday it was claimed that UK Chancellor George Osborne is set to face calls from a high-powered commission of MPs and Lords to split Ulster Bank's parent company Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) into a good bank and a bad bank.

A draft copy of a report from Britain's Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards has recommended breaking up the UK taxpayer-backed lender, according to the BBC.

One possible option would be to transfer Ulster Bank into the ownership of the Government here in return for the British loans and investments currently owned by NAMA, according to the Sunday Business Post.

It is believed the commission sees a break-up as a way of freeing the bank from residual bad debts, which could help it to lend more to businesses and boost the UK economy.

RBS itself has claimed it is well on the road to recovery, despite reporting losses of £5.2bn for 2012.

Mr Kenny's comments follow a denial yesterday from Finance Minister Michael Noonan that any approach concerning Ulster Bank had been made to his Department.

[comment]More: UK: Give us prime property for Ulster Bank (Irish Examiner)[/comment]

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