Good News for Ulster Bank... Or is it?
It looks as if RBS, the parent of Ulster Bank, has turned a corner in the U.K. and now with the drastic reduction in their property book dealing with mis-selling of PPI, Swaps and other claims, the parent looks to be nearly out of the woods.
Off the back of this, Ulster Bank have announced a £55 million pre-text profit in the first 6 months of 2014.
Of course the borrowers and the general public have no visibility as to how this was realised. We have no visibility where the impaired property loans sit on the balance sheet of the Bank. We cannot determine if this is a trading arm of Ulster Bank or does it include the vastly impaired loans that are in R.C.R. Ulster Bank?
This day last week Ulster Bank took to the market under Project Achill the sale of their impaired loan book, information on which is now widely available on the net. How is it that they can generate a substantial profit in 6 months of the back of the borrowers and yet continue to book losses in separate divisions? Transparency is the key for everyone to move forward so that we all understand were Ulster Bank will be in the next 3 - 5 years and how they continue to deal with their impaired loans and whether they will be in a position to lend to SME's.
I only have to ask one question, where is Ulster Bank Business Banking? At one time, everywhere you went in the Province there was someone who was working for Ulster Bank Business Banking. Can you now name me three people that you know who work in Ulster Bank Business Banking? I can't.
It would be very beneficial for the Northern Ireland Economy if we were able to understand the plan of Ulster Bank and how they intend to deal with businesses given the fact it is the biggest Bank in Northern Ireland. We as the borrowers, the entrepreneurs and business people in Northern Ireland need to understand where they are and consequently were we are going from here.
Perhaps Ulster Bank would be kind enough to let us know.