Northern Ireland

Ulster Bank considers including debt of businesses in arrears in loan sale

Ulster Bank Image copyright PA

Ulster Bank has confirmed it is in talks with businesses in arrears about the potential inclusion of their debt in a loan sale.

It follows reports in the Irish Farmers Journal that farmers had been receiving calls from the bank in recent days.

It is understood the number of businesses affected in Northern Ireland is small and most of the work is concentrated in the Irish Republic.

The newspaper reported that farmers were being given three options.

These are: to repay; to refinance or to have their loan sold to a third party.

The bank said it was in contact with some clients.

It said these were businesses who were "outside current arrangements or in arrears and under special management in our problem debt unit".

It said the purpose of the calls was to discuss the potential inclusion of their debt in a "future loan disposal process".

They were also being offered options to repay or refinance.

Ulster Bank has sold several large portfolios of loans to investment funds over the last two years.

Those portfolios have largely contained commercial property loans.

The buyers have included Goldman Sachs and Cerberus.

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