Friday 23 July 2021 9:50 am

NatWest's Ulster bank to sell €7.6bn of assets to Irish bank Permanent TSB

NatWest’s Ulster Bank is set to sell €7.6bn of loans and 25 branches to Irish bank Permanent TSB, as the British bank backs out of Ireland.

Permanent TSB (PTSB) and Ulster Bank’s owner, NatWest, have signed a deal that will see between 400 and 500 Ulster Bank employees’ transfer over.

The proposal will also have NatWest secure a 20 per cent stake in PTSB as part payment.

NatWest group shares rose 2.4 per cent in its early trading, lifting its price to 199p per share.

The deal prompted shares in PTSB to surge some 13.5 per cent in early Dublin trading, pushing its market value to almost €630m.

PTSB will take over Ulster Bank’s non-tracker mortgages, micro-business loans, the group’s Lombard Asset Finance loan business.

The deal, expected to be finalised by the final quarter of this year, will bolster PTSB 78 branches to a little over 100.

Ireland retreat

The NatWest group sold off around €4.2bn of commercial lending in late June to Allied Irish Banks (AIB).

Last month’s deal saw around 280 workers transfer from Ulster to AIB.

“In line with our strategy of a phased withdrawal from the Republic of Ireland, I am pleased that we are today announcing a significant update in the form of this non-binding memorandum of understanding with Permanent TSB,” NatWest group CEO Alison Rose.

“This builds on the recently announced sale of the majority of Ulster Bank’s performing commercial banking business to Allied Irish Bank.  Our focus remains on supporting our customers and colleagues as we continue our withdrawal from the Republic of Ireland.”

PTSB said in February that it was in talks to buy some Ulster Bank assets and liabilities after NatWest confirmed that it was phasing out of the Republic.