Responding to Ulster Bank’s announcement of a phased withdrawal from the Republic of Ireland over the coming years, SFA Chair Graham Byrne said: “It is devastating news to hear that Ulster Bank, a pillar bank that has been in business servicing the small business community for 156 years, is exiting the Irish market. This decision is not just bad news for the Irish banking sector but for the dedicated staff and customers who will be directly affected.
“This announcement is a further blow for Irish small business and entrepreneurs accessing Irish banks. There has been unprecedented contraction since the credit crisis of 2009, which saw the flight or closure of multiple business banks and non-banks. This was not addressed in the past decade and further compounds the lack of competition in business banking. Given the exceptional challenges that both the pandemic and Brexit have created, Ulster Bank’s departure, while phased, will play a significant factor in a slower rebound for indigenous small business."
“SFA urge the Government to focus on attracting new bank and non-banking activity into Ireland to fill the gap that this will leave. Boosting finance providers for all small business will deliver greater options, better products and innovated solutions which will allow small firms to drive the recovery phase of this crisis by creating jobs and growth,” concluded Byrne.
Ulster bank have confirmed to the SFA that they remain open for all new business applications and have also confirmed to their customers that they are not required to take any action as a result of last Friday’s announcement. A customer FAQs on what this announcement means is available here.
Ulster bank have assured us that they are committed to working with customers, their industry partners and the communities in which they operate to ensure this transition is as seamless as possible. If you have any questions or queries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and she will assist you in reaching out to SFA’s contact in Ulster Bank’s Commercial Banking unit.