A number of livestock marts have urged farmers to take action in response to Ulster Bank’s closure in the Republic of Ireland, as previously reported by That’s Farming.
Ulster Bank has commenced freezing current and deposit accounts and has also confirmed a raft of closure dates for 25 branches transferring to Permanent TSB.
The changes have begun with customers who Ulster Bank believe “have a low reliance on these accounts or may have accounts elsewhere”.
It is executing a phased approach to the overall closure of accounts to maintain “an orderly process in a “careful and controlled way” for customers, the industry, and other key stakeholders.
Ulster Bank: Changes
Ulster Bank is encouraging customers who have not yet taken action to begin the process to:
- Choose a new provider;
- Move their transactions;
- Close their current and deposit accounts within their notice period.
The first customers, who received their six-month notice in April 2022, began seeing their current and deposit accounts frozen on or after November 11th, which results in closure 30 days later.
According to a spokesperson, 30 days after the account is frozen, it will be closed and a cheque issued for the remaining balance, minus any fees which are due.
Over 70% of Ulster Bank personal current account customers, who received their first formal notification in April and May, have either:
- Materially wound down the level of activity in their current account;
- Left it inactive.
The bank said it will also be taking “proactive” steps to reach out again to the following groups of customers to offer further support, and these higher reliance accounts will not be frozen at this time:
- Personal or Commercial current account customers with six or more transactions in the last 30 days;
- Personal current or deposit account customers who have received a social protection payment in the last 30 days; – Personal current or deposit account customers in receipt of an inbound payment of €125 or more in the last 30 days (as this may be their wages);
- Commercial current accounts with a reliance on an overdraft and an account turnover of more than €1,000 in the last 30 days.
A spokesperson said: “This precautionary, careful, and controlled approach of freezing an account 30 days before closure means that where a customer needs more support, which may or may not mean more time, we can and are keen to provide that – they just need to let us know what they need.”
Given the changes, That’s Farming has learned that a number of marts have advised customers with outstanding cheques to lodge these in the coming weeks, as outstanding cheques will have to be re-issued after that date.
Ulster Bank will also pause account freezing from December 9th 2022, restarting on or after January 6th, 2023, to ensure no new accounts are frozen over the Christmas period.
In this time period, personal closures will proceed with those who were already frozen before December 9th, and did not engage with the bank to request an extension.
Branch closure dates
Ulster Bank has also confirmed the closure dates for the 25 branches, which will close in January as Ulster Bank branches and reopen shortly thereafter as a Permanent TSB branch.
In September, Ulster Bank wrote to customers of each of the 25 branches advising them of the date of closure of their local branch on January 6th or 13th, which will reopen as Permanent TSB branches shortly after.
The spokesperson concluded: “Ulster Bank colleagues working in these branches will also transfer under the right of TUPE as part of Ulster Bank’s agreement with Permanent TSB.”
“Ulster Bank also reminded these customers that even if their local branch is becoming a Permanent TSB branch, and/or their mortgage is transferring to Permanent TSB, their current and deposit accounts are not transferring, and action must be taken to choose a new provider.”
Ulster Bank branches transferring to Permanent TSB:
Branches closing on January 6th, 2022:
- Blanchardstown Village;
- Rochestown Avenue;
- Swords Pavillions;
Branches closing on January 13th, 2022:
- Eyre Square