Q&A: What does Ulster Bank's news mean for me?

The bank will soon close personal banking products and services to new business

Ulster Bank announced a phased withdrawal of all its banking activity  from the Irish market in February.

Ulster Bank announced a phased withdrawal of all its banking activity from the Irish market in February.

 

Ulster Bank announced a phased withdrawal of all its banking activity and associated services from the Irish market in February. It has now updated customers with information regarding notice to close personal banking products and services to new business.

So what does this mean?

Basically, Ulster Bank will no longer accept new business customers from Friday, outside of its Lombard Asset Finance business, and it will only accept applications from new and existing personal banking customers until the close of business on October 29th.

Can existing business customers make new loan or overdraft applications after Friday?

Yes. For existing business customers, access to all the bank’s products and services is unchanged. So, in business banking it is really only closing its doors to new customers?

That’s right . Ulster Bank will no longer offer products to non-Ulster Bank customers from Friday. The exception to this is Lombard Asset Finance, which remains open for new and existing customers. If business customers have already applied for a product, or started the process as a new customer, the bank will continue to process that for you.

Turning to personal banking customers, what can they expect?

From close of business on October 29th, personal banking customers will not be able to access new products from the bank. That includes, for instance, new current accounts, new deposit accounts, new credit cards and new personal loans.

Are there any exceptions to this?

Yes. The bank will continue to accept applications from all existing customers for new mortgage lending after October 29th. Should your mortgage be fully approved and offer letter issued, it will transfer to a new provider in the future.

How does all this affect me?

If you are not considering making an application to the bank between now and October 29th for a loan, a credit card or another service, there is no need for you to take any action. Your existing products with the bank are not affected right now, and it will notify you if you need to take any action.

What if I have already made an application?

The bank has said it will continue to support you throughout the process of your application until conclusion.

Can my mortgage loan offer term be extended?

No, mortgage loan offers are valid for six months and cannot be extended. You will need to apply for a new mortgage application if your loan offer has expired. Should your mortgage be fully approved and offer letter issued, it will transfer to a new provider in the future.

Fair enough. If I have a mortgage loan offer, can I change my rate?

Yes, Ulster Bank has a range of interest rates in the market and they say your mortgage adviser will be available to discuss all eligible rate options with you. Any change in rate will require an updated loan offer to issue. The expiry date of your original loan offer will remain in place.

If you choose a fixed rate now, you can continue to benefit from that fixed rate through to the date it expires. However, it is likely that Ulster Bank may have completed the transfer of your mortgage to another mortgage provider by the time your fixed rate expires.

And what would happen in those circumstances?

If that happens, your new mortgage provider will communicate with you, prior to expiry of your fixed rate, to inform you of the options that will be available to you once your fixed rate expires.

Will I still have access to mortgage protection, life protection, investment and pension products?

Yes, you will. The bank has said it will continue to provide ongoing financial planning advice to existing customers through Irish Life.

Okay, what about my overdraft?

The bank will also accept overdraft applications for both new and increased limits from existing current account customers after October 29th in limited circumstances to provide customers access to short term emergency funds.

Good stuff. And my credit card?

The bank will continue to accept applications for limit increases on existing credit cards in limited circumstances, again to provide customers access to short term emergency funds.

What about home and car insurance renewals?

Existing customers’ policies will remain in force up until renewal date. On renewal, Ulster Bank will write to you as normal to provide you with a renewal quotation.

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