Finance Minister Sammy Wilson has welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement of a review of structures at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), including those which could affect its subsidiary Ulster Bank.
The review will include the option of a 'good bank bad bank' approach.
Speaking after George Osborne’s Mansion House speech last night, Sammy Wilson said: “I wrote to the Chancellor asking for this in April this year and have been calling for action on the issue since then.
“The Ulster Bank, part of the RBS group, has between 30% and 40% of the market here and is key to the ability of local businesses to access the finance they need. I am convinced that the approach Ulster Bank are taking is designed only to meet their own short term needs and is damaging the longer term interests of the local economy here.
“There are no easy options for the RBS/Ulster Bank. A break up would be difficult for the bank and its customers in the short term but it would bring realism and a longer term structured approach to the huge problems we still face. The report of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards earlier this week has reminded us again just how much the banking industry has to answer for.”
Looking forward the Minister said: “The priority now will be for the review to happen quickly so that we can have a clear way forward. I will be presenting my views to the Chancellor. The Economic Pact launched by the Prime Minister last week include a commitment that the Government would take account of Northern Ireland’s needs when taking future banking decisions and I will be writing to the Chancellor again on this critical issue.”