PTSB Examines Possible Ulster Bank Loan Offer
The permanent TSB has retained investment bank Morgan Stanley to advise it on a potential offer on Ulster Bank’s Irish small and medium-sized loan portfolio if its biggest rival decides to exit the market, according to a Irish Times article.
Ulster Bank, part of the NatWest group, is conducting a strategic review of its operations in Ireland.
Citing unidentified sources, the newspaper said it was not clear what part of Ulster Bank PTSB’s SME franchise would consider bidding.
Analysts at Davy Stockbrokers said Ulster Bank’s underlying SME portfolio is around € 2-2.5 billion.
Mortgage lender PTSB’s SME portfolio stood at just € 47 million at the end of 2019. However, its managing director Eamonn Crowley said the bank is keen to increase its presence in the business lending market.
A spokeswoman for the Irish state-owned PTSB declined to comment on the report.
In a note, analysts at Davy said an acquisition would have a transformative impact on PTSB’s earnings profile.
It would also alleviate concerns about Ulster Bank Ireland exiting the market from a competitive perspective, the brokers added.
The Financial Services Union, which represents workers in the banking and financial sector, called on Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe and the Central Bank to make a statement on the potential offer.
“Today’s story is clearly serious and significant. Arising from this, we are seeking an urgent meeting with the minister, who we also ask to make a statement on what is planned,” said the secretary general of FSU, John O’Connell. “We have been warning about this for months. A dismemberment of Ulster Bank will be a terrible outcome for customers and staff as well as for competition in the Irish banking industry.”
Mr O’Connell also called on Ulster Bank’s parent company NatWest to discuss their plans for the Irish market with them.
“We have campaigned for months for NatWest to be committed to the future of Ulster Bank. If NatWest decides to leave the Irish market, any solution must involve maximum protection of customers, jobs and the structure of the company. branch, ”he said. “The continued repetition of his line on this process is no longer tenable as it risks mistaking people for fools. The Bank must immediately engage with us in a meaningful way on its real plans.”