Ulster Bank to exit Republic of Ireland

Paywalled FT article here, available to read for free if you search for it via the Google News app

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This is a big change to the market in ROI.

Isn’t Ulster Bank one of their biggest banks?

It could be a good opening for Starling and others to expand into Ireland, if there are lots of customers shopping around for a new bank.

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Yes, it’s a very significant player in the Irish market.

The British bank is Ireland’s third largest lender with an estimated 15% share of the mortgage market, 10% share of the SME market and a 20 billion euro ($24.2 billion) loan book.

(From Yahoo Finance)

NatWest deciding to pull out would cause a major disruption to the market over there, so much so that the government is planning a potential intervention.

“A third force that would be able to compete with Bank of Ireland, and with AIB, that is something that I support,” Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said in parliament Thursday. “That’s something that we are exploring.”

(From Bloomberg)

Apparently Permanent TSB (a state-owned Irish bank) might acquire some of Ulster’s loans, while AIB is negotiating on buying some of Ulster’s assets.

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Couldn’t they just mandate that Ulster Ireland is span off into its own public company?