Ulster Bank is one of the traditional big four banks of Northern Ireland. The company itself is split into two divisions: Ulster Bank Limited, based in Northern Ireland, and Ulster Bank Ireland Limited, based in the Republic of Ireland.
Ulster is a large commercial bank with a long history, offering saving and lending facilities to customers across the United Kingdom and Ireland. Since 2002, it's been a subsidiary of the National Westminster Bank, which makes it part of the Bank of Scotland group of financial institutions.
The bank itself boasts 90 branches in Northern Ireland, with a further 46 branches south of the border.
Ulster Bank was first formed in 1836, with a view to helping exporters who were based in Northern Ireland. This emphasis on internationalism is still at the heart of the organisation.
Its links with the National Westminster go back a long way, and it first became a wholly owned subsidiary of that bank in 1917. It then became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bank of Scotland in 2000, but continues to forge its own independent identity.
In 2004 Ulster Bank acquired First Active, a major mortgage provider, and Ireland's oldest building society. The bank also prints its own distinct pound sterling bank notes. These are a legal denomination throughout the United Kingdom.
The acquisition of First Active, led to an expansion in the lending facilities offered by Ulster Bank. They provide re-mortgaging
and buy to let
options, as well as offering mortgages to first time buyers
. They also offer the opportunity to borrow up to 90% of the value
of a property for loan purpose. This can be used for home improvements, debt restructuring, or other purposes.
As well as being a major mortgage provider, they also provide a wide range of loans, and have credit cards that carry no annual fee.