Competition authorities want a more detailed assessment of Ptsb’s deal with Ulster Bank

Competition regulators have launched a so-called Phase 2 investigation to determine whether Ulster Bank’s proposed sale of mortgages and other retail loans to Permanent TSB could lead to a significant reduction in competition.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has already told the Bank of Ireland (BOI) and KBC that their agreement to transfer £9bn. A final decision on the proposed KBC deal is due this month.

Now the CCPC says it has decided to conduct a full Phase 2 investigation into Permanent TSB’s proposed acquisition of Ulster Bank assets after a preliminary review found a full investigation was needed to determine whether the proposed transaction could lead to a significant result weakening of competition.

The CCPC will publish its Phase 1 decision no later than 60 working days from the date of the decision and after giving the parties an opportunity to request that confidential information be removed from the published version.

The second phase includes an open call for submissions to be submitted via email by Monday, May 30, 2022.

The CCPC is currently considering several consolidation proposals in the banking sector as Ulster Bank and KBC exit the Irish market in the biggest upheaval since at least the global financial crisis.

Permanent TSB agreed last July to acquire Ulster Bank assets worth 7.6 billion euros, which would also make British state-controlled bank NatWest a major shareholder in the Irish lender.

AIB is acquiring Ulster Bank’s €4.1 billion corporate and commercial loan portfolio and is in talks to purchase around €6 billion of tracker mortgages from the British bank. AIB has also acquired Goodbody Stockbrokers and formed a joint venture with Great-West Lifeco to offer investment products to its clients.

Meanwhile, Bank of Ireland, led by outgoing CEO Francesca McDonagh, has bought Davy Stockbrokers and a deal is underway to buy a majority of KBC’s Irish portfolio.

The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) is in the process of selling the state’s minority stake in Bank of Ireland, which is now below 4 percent, according to stock market reports May 10

The bank is set to be fully privatized by July, at the current pace of about 1 percent per month. Competition authorities want a more detailed assessment of Ptsb’s deal with Ulster Bank

Fry Electronics Team

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