RBS hired investment bank to advise on sale of Irish loans

Ulster Bank is preparing to sell €800m of commercial real estate loans, according to sources

Royal Bank of Scotland hired real estate investment bank Eastdil Secured LLC to advise on the sale of Irish property loans, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

Ulster Bank, a unit of Edinburgh-based RBS, is preparing to sell €800 million of commercial real estate loans, known as Project Achill, said the people, who asked not to be named as the sale isn't yet public.

RBS spokesman Erfan Hussain declined to comment, while officials at Eastdil in London didn’t return a call seeking comment.

Ulster Bank is winding down £9 billion (€11.3 billion) of loans, excluding bad-debt provisions, that had been placed in an internal bad bank, chief executive Jim Brown said in January.

RBS is seeking to sell a stake in Ulster Bank's Republic of Ireland operations or find another bank to merge with the division, people familiar with the matter said in May.

Almost €8 billion of real estate loans and foreclosed properties were sold in Ireland in the first quarter, the most in Europe after the UK, broker Cushman and Wakefield said in an April report.