Business

Up to 400 NI jobs at risk as Ulster Bank wind down continues in Republic

Around 425 staff in Northern Ireland are directly employed by the Ulster Bank operation in the Republic.

UP to 400 Ulster Bank jobs in Northern Ireland could still be at risk as NatWest prepares to shut down its operation in the Republic.

The financial group will close its remaining 63 Ulster Bank branches across the border on April 21 2023, two years after it confirmed the withdrawal plan.

While the Ulster Bank operation on the island of Ireland was formally split in 2015, hundreds of people in Belfast are still directly employed by the operation in the Republic.

It’s understood there are currently around 425 staff affected in the north.

Around 60 are believed to have been moved to other parts of the NatWest organisation since January 2022.

Another 10 Northern Ireland employees are also in line to move to AIB after it bought Ulster Bank’s tracker mortgage portfolio in the Republic.

Of the 425 staff remaining, around 20 are due to leave Ulster Bank via redundancy over the coming months.

But the lender is expected to roll out further redundancy programmes throughout the rest of 2023 and beyond, as the Ulster Bank operation in the Republic steadily winds down.

The banking group indicated that staff affected in Northern Ireland may still find redeployment opportunities.

But less than three months until all Ulster Bank branches in the Republic close, NatWest has yet to provide clarity.

While those 63 branches are on course to shut on April 21, Ulster Bank's complete withdrawal will take longer as other activity will remain for a period.

The Financial Services Union, which represents bank workers across the island, has continued to urge NatWest to do more to redeploy its northern workers affected by the Ulster Bank decision.

Talks between the union and NatWest are expected to continue.