Dozens of Ulster Bank branches will be closed today as part of the state’s withdrawal process

A dozen Ulster Bank branches will be closed today as part of the bank’s withdrawal from the Irish market.

They will reopen as permanent TSB branches in a couple of weeks after that bank agreed to buy non-tracker mortgages and 25 branches from the outgoing Ulster Bank.

A further 13 branches in Ulster are due to close in the coming weeks.

Permanent TSB invests €25 million in the modernization of the branches it has taken over.

Branches closing today are those in Ardee, Co. Louth; Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan; Blackrock, Dublin; Village of Blanchardstown, Dublin; Celbridge, Co Kildare; Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford; Kilcock, Co Kildare; Lucan, Co Dublin; Ranelagh, Dublin; Rochestown Avenue, Dublin; Sword Pavilions, Co Dublin; and Trim, Co Meath.

Aside from the 25 branches that will be taken over by Permanent TSB, a further 63 Ulster Bank branches will remain open for the time being, with final definitive closure dates expected to be announced in a few months.

And from today, Ulster Bank will resume the process of freezing the accounts of customers whose six-month notice period to close them has expired.

The freezing of accounts, the step before the bank closes them, was suspended in early December to prevent customers from getting into financial difficulties over the Christmas period.

On the date notified to them, the customer’s account will be frozen or non-operational, the bank said.

If a customer needs to access those funds urgently, Ulster Bank said they can make that easier and also allow extra time for the account to be moved if the customer needs it.

Approximately 30 days after the account is blocked, the account will be closed and a check issued for the balance less any fees due. There are no fees for closing the account, it said.

No date has yet been given for Ulster Bank to cease all retail banking services in that country.

This depends on the speed and success of the process of getting customers to close their accounts and migrate to other lenders.

But there are signs that people are slow to close accounts at Ulster Bank and the other exiting bank, KBC Bank Ireland.

According to the Central Bank of Ireland, less than half of the around 1.2 million accounts at the two banks at the beginning of last year have been closed so far. Permanent TSB hopes to fully complete the transfer of all assets it is buying from Ulster Bank by the end of June.

In November, Permanent announced it had completed the purchase of the powerful non-tracker residential mortgage business, which consists of €6.2 billion in loans.

Ulster Bank’s SME and asset finance business, which is being purchased, will also be transferred to Permanent TSB in due course.

Up to 450 employees will transfer from Ulster Bank to Permanent TSB as part of the broader deal.

As part of the transaction, the NatWest Group will acquire a 16.7 per cent stake in Permanent, which is majority owned by the Irish State.

The transaction will be funded with €6.4 billion in cash, plus NatWest expected to acquire 90.9 million new PTSB shares. That gives him the stake of 16.7 percent.

The deal is transformative for Permanent TSB.

Its loan book will grow 40 per cent after more than a decade of contraction as a result of the financial crash, and its branch network will grow 30 per cent as a result of the transaction as it acquires 25 of Ulster Bank’s 88 branches in the Republic.

AIB is buying Ulster Bank’s tracker mortgage book and is currently awaiting a decision from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission on the proposed transaction. Dozens of Ulster Bank branches will be closed today as part of the state’s withdrawal process

Fry Electronics Team

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