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Ulster Bank

by Jonathan Adams

Ulster Bank is a major Irish commercial bank which provides financial services in Ireland and the UK

Ulster Bank is a leading name in Irish banking that is at the forefront of Irish banking. It is a major commercial bank based in Belfast that has serviced Ireland for a long time. It offers a number of financial services to clients in the UK and Ireland. The bank was established in 1836 and dedicated to meet the challenges of competition and changing market conditions.

Its services range from the retail sector to corporate and commercial banking. It is committed to provide high quality service to its 1.1 million customers in the Republic of Ireland. The bank invests in technology, brand and people to meet its goals of providing quality banking. The bank maintains more than 1,200 non-charging ATMs. Some of its services include direct banking services for personal and small-scale banking and competitively priced products.


Ulster Bank was established in 1836 and was acquired by the Westminster Bank in 1917. During approximately 175 years of its existence it has served the Irish people with dedication. The bank had opened branches in all of Ulster’s major trading towns and appointed booking agents in the UK.

Later in 2000, it became part of Royal Bank of Scotland. The Ulster Bank Group is subdivided into two separate legal entities, Ulster Bank Limited (UBL – registered in Northern Ireland) and Ulster Bank Ireland DAC (UBIDAC – registered in the Republic of Ireland). The bank has 146 branches in the Republic of Ireland and 90 branches in Northern Ireland. It has more than 3,000 employees serving their clients. The founding directors of the bank were John Heron, Robert Grimshaw, John Currell a linen bleacher from Ballymena, and James Steen, a Belfast pork curer.


  • Gerry Mallon – Chief Executive Officer
  • Paul Stanley – Chief Finance Officer
  • Dr Philip Nolan – ChairmanDes O’Shea – Chairman of the Audit Committee
  • Rosemary Quinlan – Chair of the Risk Committee, Chair of the Remuneration Committee
  • Martin Murphy – Non Executive Director

Executive committee

  • Paul Stanley-Interim Chief Executive
  • Richard Donnan-Managing Director Retail & Head of NI SME & CIB
  • Eddie Cullen-Managing Director, Corporate & Institutional Banking
  • Paul Stanley-Chief Financial Officer
  • Stephen Bell-Chief Risk Officer
  • Ciarán Coyle-Chief Administrative Officer
  • Kevin Keegan-Head of Human Resources
  • Bobbie Bergin-Director of Communications & Corporate Affairs
  • Maeve McMahon-Director of Customer Experience & Products
  • Paul Sullivan-Head of RBS Capital Resolution Ireland

Recent performance

Ulster Bank has reported a modest improvement in operating profit for the first six months of 2017. Its profits rose by €3m on the same period last year.

CEO Gerry Mallon said the results “impacted by a number of one-off items including increased restructuring costs to invest in and transform our business”. He said adjusted operating profit of €104m (down from €155m in H1 2016) “is a truer reflection of the underlying performance of the business”. The bank said the H1 2017 charge related to errors that were uncovered as part of a review of the wider personal and commercial loan portfolio extending from the tracker mortgage examination programme. Operating expenses for the period fell by €60m to €342m, while new lending increased by 11% to €1.3 billion. The lender said it is on target to lend €1 billion to mortgage customers this year.

Future plans

Ulster Bank plans to close 22 of its branches across the country in June and September. An average of 30 customers per day used each of the affected branches in the past week, according to Ulster Bank. The move by the bank to close the branches comes due to a customer shift away from traditional in-branch banking towards digital channels. The bank recorded 62% customer interactions in digital form last year compared with 10% interactions in branches.
Ulster Bank CEO Gerry Mallon said the move is “in response to changing customer demand”.

Mr Mallon added:

“Closing a branch is a difficult decision which we do not take lightly, and our branch network remains an important part of how we serve our customers.

“However, the role of the branch continues to move toward advice and away from day-to-day transactions, with only 10% of our customer interactions now happening in branch.

“These changes to right-size our business mean that while we will create a number of new roles, we will reduce our number of roles across Ulster Bank by approximately 220 during 2017.

“We will manage these changes in line with our existing process with the FSU.”


11-16 Donegall Square E, Belfast BT1 5UB
Website: http://digital.ulsterbank.co.uk/

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