By Adria Calatayud
NatWest Group PLC said Friday that it plans to begin a withdrawal from Ireland over the coming years, after a strategic review of Ulster Bank concluded the lender wouldn't achieve sustainable long-term returns.
The U.K. bank said it has agreed to a memorandum of understanding with AIB Group PLC for the sale of a 4 billion euro ($4.84 billion) portfolio of performing commercial loans, and the transfer of staff assigned to this loan book. The potential sale remains subject to due diligence, further negotiation and agreement of final terms, as well as regulatory and other approvals, NatWest said.
The lender said it is also in early discussions with Permanent TSB Group Holdings PLC and other parties about their potential interest in buying certain retail and small-and-medium-enterprises assets, liabilities and operations.
NatWest said Ulster Bank Ltd.'s banking business in Northern Ireland is unaffected by its decision.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 19, 2021 02:41 ET (07:41 GMT)Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.