AIB in exclusive talks to buy Ulster Bank’s tracker mortgage portfolio

Group seeks to acquire €6bn of performing tracker and linked loans

AIB has entered exclusive discussions with the UK’s NatWest Group for the acquisition of about €6 billion of Ulster Bank performing tracker (and linked) mortgages.

Any potential transaction remains subject to negotiations and agreement, the bank said.

The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, welcomed the tracker announcement. “The successful conclusion of this transaction by AIB would be very positive in providing a significant number of Ulster Bank customers with certainty as to the destination of their mortgages,” he said. “I am hopeful that these discussions will lead to a successful outcome, however, I do appreciate that the conclusion of this transaction is subject to normal due diligence, agreement of final terms, as well as obtaining appropriate approvals.”

AIB also welcomed news that broke on Thursday of receipt of clearance from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) for the acquisition of €3.7 billion Ulster Bank performing corporate and commercial loans.


AIB said it would commence the migration of loans on a phased basis over the coming months to ensure “optimised outcomes” for the 5,000 impacted customers.

In line with previous guidance, AIB expects a core equity Tier 1 reduction of 130 basis points in relation to the corporate and commercial loan book acquisition.

‘Positive development’

AIB chief executive Colin Hunt said: “Receipt of CCPC approval is another important milestone in AIB’s inorganic strategy and follows the successful integration of Goodbody last year. We look forward to working with our new customers and equally our new colleagues from Ulster Bank as they move to AIB Group. I would like to thank everyone who has worked on this landmark transaction.”

Mr Donohoe described the CCPC’s clearance in relation to the corporate and commercial loan book as a “very positive development” for Ulster Bank customers.

On Thursday Ulster Bank had welcomed the CCPC’s decision and said it was a “significant step forward” in its exit. About 280 of the bank’s staff will also transfer to AIB.

“Our next steps, starting today and over the coming weeks and months, will be to communicate with colleagues who will move to AIB...and to communicate to impacted customers who will migrate as part of this,” Ulster Bank said.

Ulster Bank’s parent NatWest struck a deal last summer to sell its commercial book of loans to larger businesses with turnover of €2 million-€250 million to AIB, sparking the CCPC investigation. AIB will become the main corporate lender in the State after the transaction has been completed.

AIB said it will issue its first quarter trading update on May 5th.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times