Ulster Bank to open redundancy programmes for northern staff employed by its operation in Republic

Ulster Bank headquarters in Belfast. Picture by Hugh Russell.
Ulster Bank headquarters in Belfast. Picture by Hugh Russell.

DOZENS of Ulster Bank employees in Northern Ireland face redundancy over the coming months as NatWest continues to wind down its operation in the Republic.

Ulster Bank was formally split into separate north-south entities in 2015, but it’s understood around 400 workers in the north are still directly employed by the business across the border.

NatWest announced its plan for a phased withdrawal from the Republic in 2021. At that time, around 600 staff in Northern Ireland were directly working in the southern operation.

The final 63 Ulster Bank branches in the Republic closed on April 21, but some non-branch activity continues. NatWest has not confirmed the final date for its complete withdrawal.

The number of staff in Northern Ireland who have been transferred to other roles in the NatWest operation has been relatively small. Around 60 were redeployed last year, but it’s understood just 15 have been moved since the start of 2023.

Another 10 are in scope to move to AIB, which has bought Ulster Bank’s mortgage portfolio in the Republic.

It leaves an uncertain future for the remaining 400-odd staff.

In a statement on the northern workers, an Ulster Bank spokesperson said: “Ulster Bank will continue to open redundancy programmes in 2023 and beyond as the work reduces or ceases due to our withdrawal from the Republic of Ireland and this will include colleagues in Northern Ireland employed by Ulster Bank in the Republic of Ireland.

“We continue to update our colleagues on this. Our Northern Ireland colleagues in scope to transfer to AIB are doing so as part of an ongoing process while other colleagues may continue to find redeployment opportunities across NatWest Group over the coming months.”