Q&A: What will Ulster Bank’s closure mean for customers?

Decision by NatWest affects mortgages, business loans and deposits

Ulster Bank offices on College Green in Dublin. NatWest Group has decided to wind-down the bank in the Republic.  Photograph: Patrick Bolger/Bloomberg

Ulster Bank offices on College Green in Dublin. NatWest Group has decided to wind-down the bank in the Republic. Photograph: Patrick Bolger/Bloomberg

There are a number of reasons why it has come to the stage where the board of British banking giant NatWest, formerly Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), has decided to wind down its Ulster Bank unit in the Republic.

After more than decade of a shrinking balance sheet following the financial crisis, the bank has been left with a subscale loan book of about €20.5 billion and a high cost base. In recent years, its expenses have ranged between 95 per cent and 111 per cent of income – compared with the typical 50 per cent target of healthy banks internationally.

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