Northern Ireland

Ulster Bank sells multi-million pound problem debt

Ulster Bank sign Image copyright PA

Ulster Bank has sold distressed loans in Northern Ireland with a value of £261m.

The figure includes £22m worth of agricultural loans in Northern Ireland.

It is part of a wider disposal of problem debt on both sides of the border, but most of the loans are in the Irish Republic.

It is understood the loans were bought by US private equity firm Cerberus.

The bank said the sell-off would strengthen its balance sheet.

The loans involved have been in arrears or under specialist management for a significant period of time, the Ulster Bank added.

In May, the bank announced it was beginning a process to either restructure the debt or sell it off.

New owner

While the face value of the loans sold in Northern Ireland is £261m, the actual value of them is now likely to be considerably less.

The sell-off is part of a wider disposal of problem debt on both sides of the border - the total value of all Ulster Bank debt which has been sold is 2.5bn euros or £2.25bn.

An Ulster Bank spokesperson said: "Ulster Bank has confirmed the completion of a sale of significantly impaired loan portfolio, predominantly in the Republic of Ireland, enabling the bank to strengthen its balance sheet for the benefit of its customers.

"We will be in contact with all affected customers in the coming days to help them as their loans transition to their new owner."

It is understood the existing rights, obligations and regulatory protections of the borrowers transfer with the loans.

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