10,000 agri loans on the books… how the Ulster Bank sale affects you

Ulster Bank has agreed to sell its €4 billion Irish portfolio of performing commercial loans to Allied Irish Banks.

Staff assigned to the loan book will also be transferred to AIB.

With as many as 10,000 agricultural loans thought to be included on the bank’s books, AgriLand has sought out the answers to key questions farming customers will have at this time.

The deal is still in the early days and still subject to due diligence, further negotiation, and the agreement of final terms and definitive documentation.

Once all that has been done the banks will also need to get the approval of regulatory bodies and satisfy other legal conditions.

As a result, it may not be completed on the terms currently discussed, or it may not happen at all. We have the latest official information for customers below.

Questions and answers

How long is it expected to take for the deal with AIB to complete?

No timeline has been given by the bank.

What will happen to my savings or current account? Will packaged accounts retain their benefits – eg. travel insurance and mobile phone insurance?

And what about those with home insurance policies from Ulster Bank?

A spokesperson for Ulster Bank explained all products and services remain in place for existing and new customers.

Branches will also remain open for the time being.

“There will be no new compulsory redundancies this year and that we have no intention of closing any branches this year on the back of this announcement,” the spokesperson added.

What will happen to my loan? Will fixed terms change or will I have to repay early?

Loan services will continue for customers as normal.

I’ve been struggling to make payments recently and have heard about families losing their farms when loans were sold in the past – is this likely to happen to me?

Nothing has changed for customers in financial difficulty either.

“Our team will continue to support customers to find a long-term sustainable solution,” the spokesperson said.

Customers who feel they need support on this can contact Ulster Bank on:

  • 1800-435-763 for Mortgage Support; and
  • 1850-201-210 for Personal Loan support.

“Those customers with a dedicated relationship manager should contact them directly,” the spokesperson added.

“If your relationship is managed by our business direct team, the telephony team is available on: 1850-211-690.”

Is there any risk of the loans being sold to vulture funds?

There was no definitive ‘no’ in response to this question.

However, the spokesperson did say: “Our preference is to continue to focus our discussions with counterparties who can provide customers with full banking services in the Irish market.”

Who should I speak to if I need further advice?

Customers who feel they need support can contact Ulster Bank on:

  • 1800-435-763 for mortgage support;
  • 1850-201-210 for personal loan support;
  • 1850-211-690 for the business direct team.

Customers with a dedicated relationship manager should contact them directly.

Does this affect Ulster Bank customers in Northern Ireland?

Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland is not impacted by today’s announcement.