ULSTER Bank has announced the latest steps to liquidate its operations in this market.
It will stop accepting mortgage applications from existing customers by the end of next month and plans to start reducing counter service in its branches from July.
The bank will write to thousands of customers over the coming weeks, giving them six months’ notice that they can choose a new banking provider and close their account.
First, the letters are sent to current account and savings account holders. Other accounts such as mortgage accounts are not affected for the time being, the bank said.
From April 29, the bank will no longer offer mortgage commitments to existing customers.
And from June 10, it will be closing for new mortgage applications from existing customers.
This means that from June 10, the only private banking new business available will be servicing existing customers to switch tariffs or avail offset and tracker “Porter” products, as well as in exceptional cases, emergencies, temporary overdrafts or credit card limits increases.
It has already halted all, with some exceptions, new mortgage lending to the unbanked.
Ulster Bank is also planning to restrict some of its counter opening hours and services in its branches from July 1st. This is so their staff can focus on helping customers “select, move and close” their accounts.
This means that Ulster Bank will close the counters in all branches from 1 p.m.
The counter staff remain in the open branch in order to concentrate on serving customers personally.
Also effective July 1st, foreign exchange counter services will be discontinued and Nightsafe services will no longer be offered.
The availability of new products for existing business customers will not change, Ulster Bank said. Lombard Ireland remains open to new and existing customers.
The bank writes in tranches to giro and deposit customers (private and business customers).
Customers are under no obligation to take any action until they hear from Ulster Bank.
A bank-wide layoff program isn’t expected to open in the first half of this year, but there could be smaller team-based programs as work in those areas is completed.
The bank has around 360,000 active private checking accounts.
She has around 300,000 personal deposits, of which around 155,000 do not have a checking account with her.
There are around 70,000 business giro and custody accounts. These customers will also shortly receive a “Choose-Move-Close” letter or email, most of which are active checking accounts.
After Ulster Bank customers receive this initial notice, they will be prompted to do so at various times during their six-month notice period through reminder text messages, prompts on the mobile app and internet banking, as well as follow-up letters or emails and calls.
The bank said: “If a customer has not moved their account after those six months have elapsed, the account will be blocked and a check will be issued for the account balance less fees, stamp duties, etc. within a month. payable.”
Jane Howard, Chief Executive of Ulster Bank, said: “We know this will be a busy time for customers and we will be reaching out to as many as possible over the coming weeks and months to ensure they are aware of the changes are, and to offer them help and support.”
She encouraged customers to consider the many different types of accounts and services on offer when deciding on a banking alternative.
Ms Howard said the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission’s website (ccpc.ie) was useful for examining the switching process and the different types of accounts on offer.
There is an Ulster Bank hotline on 1800 656 001.
https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/banking/ulster-bank-to-shut-counter-services-from-1pm-in-all-branches-as-it-steps-up-closure-preparations-41495772.html Ulster Bank is closing counter services in all branches from 1pm to intensify closure preparations