Ulster Bank announced a phase-out of all banking and related services from the Irish market in February. He has now updated customers with information regarding the Notice to Close Personal Banking Products and Services to New Business.
What does that mean?
Basically, Ulster Bank will no longer accept new business customers from Friday, outside of its Lombard Asset Finance business, and will only accept applications from new and existing personal bank customers until the close of business. October 29.
Can existing business customers make new loan or overdraft requests after Friday?
Yes. For existing business customers, access to all of the bank’s products and services is unchanged. So, is merchant banking really just closing its doors to new customers?
That’s right . Ulster Bank will no longer offer products to non-Ulster Bank customers as of Friday. The exception to this rule is Lombard Asset Finance, which remains open to new and existing clients. If business customers have already requested a product or started the process as a new customer, the bank will continue to process it for you.
As for personal banking customers, what can they expect?
As of the close of business on October 29, personal banking customers will no longer be able to access the bank’s new products. This includes, for example, new checking accounts, new deposit accounts, new credit cards and new personal loans.
Are there any exceptions to this?
Yes. The bank will continue to accept applications from all existing customers for new mortgages after October 29. If your mortgage is fully approved and a letter of offer is issued, it will be transferred to a new provider in the future.
How does it all affect me?
If you don’t plan to apply to the bank by October 29 for a loan, credit card, or other service, you don’t need to do anything. Your existing products with the bank are not affected at this time, and they will notify you if you need to take action.
What if I have already applied?
The bank said it will continue to support you through the process of your application until it is concluded.
Can the term of my mortgage offer be extended?
No, mortgage offers are valid for six months and cannot be extended. You will need to reapply for a mortgage if your loan offer has expired. If your mortgage is fully approved and a letter of offer is issued, it will be transferred to a new provider in the future.
Fair enough. If I have a mortgage offer, can I change my rate?
Yes, Ulster Bank has a range of interest rates in the market and they say your mortgage advisor will be available to discuss any eligible rate options with you. Any rate change will require the issuance of an updated loan offer. The expiration date of your original loan offer will remain in effect.
If you choose a fixed rate now, you can continue to benefit from that fixed rate until its expiration date. However, it is likely that Ulster Bank has completed the transfer of your mortgage to another mortgage provider by the time your fixed rate expires.
And what would happen under these circumstances?
If this happens, your new mortgage provider will contact you, before your fixed rate expires, to let you know what options will be available to you after your fixed rate expires.
Will I still have access to mortgage protection, life protection, investment and retirement products?
Yes you will. The bank said it would continue to provide financial planning advice to existing clients through Irish Life.
Ok, and my overdraft?
The bank will also accept overdraft requests for new and increased limits from customers of existing checking accounts after October 29 in limited circumstances to allow customers to access short-term emergency funds.
Good product. What about my credit card?
The bank will continue to accept limit increase requests on existing credit cards under limited circumstances, again to allow customers to access short-term emergency funds.
What about home and auto insurance renewals?
Policies for existing customers will remain in effect until the renewal date. Upon renewal, Ulster Bank will write to you as usual to provide you with a renewal quote.