Sale of Ulster Bank loan portfolio raises serious concern

Issued : 10 May 2018

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The Financial Services Union today expressed its concern at the announcement by Ulster Bank that it was intending to sell a loan portfolio which includes loans on family homes.

General Secretary, Dermot Ryan, said, “Yet again another bank is proposing to off load a tranche of loans, including loans on family homes, to the highest bidder.  We know these announcements place thousands of home owners under additional stress as they fear their loan will be bought by so-called ‘vulture funds’.

“I am calling on Ulster Bank to clarify whether it will only accept bids from companies regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland."

“The Financial Services Union wrote to Ulster Bank when this loan sale was first mooted.  We demanded that family home owners, who were making repayments on a restructured loan, are excluded from any asset sale, even though technically these loans are still classed as non-preforming.  We  understand that the Bank have taken this important point on board.  Today the bank confirmed to FSU that loans on family homes where customers are engaging will be excluded from this sale.”

Union Official, Gareth Murphy, also called on Ulster Bank to give cast iron guarantees to staff that their jobs won’t be forcibly outsourced to the third party that ultimately buys the loan portfolio.  “I will be contacting Ulster Bank to ensure that our members will not be forced over to a third-party or vulture fund when a sale is complete.  Our members who managed distressed loans have done a remarkable job, often in very stressful circumstances.  They do not deserve to have a cloud hanging over their future role in the bank.

“FSU is asking Ulster Bank for immediate clarity regarding staff impacted by a future sale. Staff should have the option to redeploy within the Bank and only transfer to a third party if by agreement and carry their right to trade union representation with them.”