Ulster Bank CEO tells staff ‘no decision has been taken’

Staff to be briefed after bank results are published on Friday

Ulster Bank's chief executive in the Republic, Jane Howard, told the lender's 2,800 staff on Thursday that "no decision has been taken" on the future of the company.

It follows The Irish Times reporting that the board of its parent, NatWest, will decide on a proposal this evening to wind down the business after more than 160 years in the market. The move will likely result in the break-up of Ulster Bank's €20.5 billion loan book and result in jobs being cut on a phased basis.

An announcement is expected on Friday morning as NatWest and Ulster Bank report full-year results.

“As predicted, there is increased media speculation in the run-up to the publication of Results 2020. This is not how we choose to communicate with you or our customers,” Ms Howard said in a note to staff. “I know the level of uncertainty is escalating and naturally you are frustrated at the lack of clarity. You have heard me say before that speculation is outside our control and again, I reiterate that as soon as I can, I will update you.”

Ms Howard said she would hold a staff call at 12.45pm on Friday.

“Thank you for your continued focus on customers and please stay connected and look after yourselves and each other.”