Belfast Telegraph

RBS chief Stanley insists bank will stay in Republic of Ireland

Denial: Paul Stanley
Denial: Paul Stanley

By Gretchen Friemann

Ulster Bank's interim chief executive insisted parent company Royal Bank of Scotland has no plans to jettison the Irish business.

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And Paul Stanley denied a looming €1.6bn (£1.4bn) loan portfolio sale of owner-occupier and buy-to-let mortgages is part of preparing the lender "for the shop window".

Appearing before the Republic's Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, he said RBS boss Ross McEwan had given a commitment to him that the UK banking giant has no plans to quit Ireland and stressed Ulster is viewed as a "core" part of the group.

Ulster Bank's operations in the Republic are separate to those in Northern Ireland.

Mr Stanley also hosed down fears the incoming head of Ulster Bank, Jane Howard, a senior official at RBS who has spearheaded the closure of over a quarter of its branches, will ultimately oversee the disposal of the Irish business. But Fine Gael Senator Kieran O'Donnell claimed rumours persisted and questioned whether the reduction of non-performing loans was all part of an exercise to "ready the bank for the shop window".

Belfast Telegraph