NatWest board to meet on proposal to exit Irish market: Irish Times

FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside a branch of Ulster Bank in Dublin, Ireland, September 3, 2020. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

DUBLIN (Reuters) - The board of British lender NatWest Group is set to decide on Thursday on a proposal to wind down its Ulster Bank subsidiary in the Republic of Ireland, the Irish Times reported on Wednesday citing unnamed sources.

The newspaper reported that an announcement on the decision was scheduled to be made on Friday morning, when the lender is due to publish annual results.

A spokeswoman for NatWest declined to comment on the report.

NatWest has been conducting a monthslong strategic review of its operations in Ireland, where it is the third largest lender with a 20.5 billion euros ($24.7 billion) loan book.

Irish government ministers in recent months have repeatedly expressed concern that an exit from the Irish market by Ulster Bank would damage competition.

($1 = 0.8306 euro)

Reporting by Conor Humphries and Rachel Armstrong; editing by Jonathan Oatis