Ulster Bank warns firms of payroll risks as first account closures loom

First deadlines for business customers to close their accounts due to kick in next month

Ulster Bank has warned business customers whose accounts face being frozen from the middle of next month, as it winds down in the Republic, that they face risks meeting payroll and receiving and making general payments if they delay finding a new account provider.

The bank started formally writing to groups of business and personal account customers in mid-April to give them six months’ notice to move their business to another provider and close their accounts.

The six-month deadline starts to kick in on a rolling basis from the middle of next month.

Ulster Bank said on Tuesday that it met business representative groups to update on its phased withdrawal.


“Ulster Bank is urging customers to take action to ensure continuity of service for their business banking needs. If a customer does not switch or close a business’ current account, it could have implications for their business in terms of paying their employee wages, their suppliers and receiving payments for their own goods and services,” the UK-owned bank said.

“We understand also that many customers will choose to keep their account open during their period of transition to a new provider. If at the end of their six-month notice period a customer has not moved their account, the account will become non-operational and after a month will be closed with a cheque issued for the account balance.”

Ulster Bank, which is part of the NatWest Group, issued a similar public warning for personal current and deposit account customers earlier this month.

“Customers should ensure that they have opened new accounts and updated their employer, pension provider, the Department of Social Protection, if they receive regular payments from them, or any other body they receive payments from,” it said.

“They also need to ensure direct debits or any other regular payments leaving their account such as standing orders, subscriptions, or payment card details on websites are updated with their new account details, to ensure they don’t miss any payments.”

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times