Ulster Bank axes 78 jobs from its Irish mortgage arrears division

Bank plans to move its problem debt collection unit here to Scotland

 

Ulster Bank is to cut approximately 78 jobs from its mortgage arrears operation in Ireland.

The job cuts are part of an internal restructuring which will see the bank’s problem debt collection unit transferred to Edinburgh.

The lender confirmed today it plans to cut a total of 110 jobs, mainly at its mortgage centre in Sandyford in Dublin along with a small number from its Belfast section.

This will be partially offset, however, with 32 new “field agents” roles at the bank which will be involved in debt collection work.

The cuts are part of the 950 job cuts already announced by the bank in 2012.

“Ulster Bank continues to implement the agreed changes to our operating model and has today communicated some changes to our staff in the retail problem debt management unit,” a spokesperson said.

However, Larry Broderick of the Irish Bank Officials Association (IBOA) said: “The staff who work in the retail problem debt management unit are involved in mortgage arrears negotiation”.

“This is demanding work which requires sensitive handling. We are concerned that units based overseas may not be as attentive or understanding of the needs of customers experiencing significant difficulties with their mortgages,” he added.

“Outsourcing has not always delivered for Ulster Bank’s customers. They will not easily forget the meltdown on the bank’s outsourced IT systems in the summer of 2012.”

“Outsourcing has not always delivered for Ulster Bank’s customers. They will not easily forget the meltdown on the Bank’s outsourced IT systems in the summer of 2012. “

Ulster Bank’s parent Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is conducting a review of Ulster Bank’s operations.

Mr Broderick said the union had asked Ulster Bank management to defer any decision on the mortgage arrears unit until RBS review was completed.

However, he said this request was rejected which “reinforced conerns that further significant job losses and further reductions in services to customers may be on the cards”.