Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Scheme
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Icon expand How will this change affect my banking service?

You’ll be able to manage your account in the same way, using the same card with access to the same products and services as you do today.

Your everyday banking will carry on as normal.

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Icon expand Are you transferring all of the Ulster Bank business to NatWest?

There will be certain arrangements that will either not transfer or will be dealt with outside of the Scheme. This will not affect your day to day dealings with the bank. For example, certain payment scheme arrangements and other ancillary, non-customer facing activities may not transfer. 

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Icon expand When will this change take place?

It is expected that the proposed transfer will be effective from 3 May 2021.

Updates will be provided through the Ulster Bank website at ulsterbank.co.uk/transferscheme on progress as we move forward with the proposed changes.

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Icon expand I want to make my views known about the Scheme. What should I do?

If you think you would be adversely affected by the carrying out of the Scheme, you have the right to object.

You can do this by writing to us or the Court, with your reasons to:

Ulster Bank Transfer, Ulster Bank Limited, 11-16 Donegall Square East, Belfast BT1 5UB.

You can also present your views (in person or by legal representation) at the Final Court Hearing which is due to take place on 25 March 2021 at the Royal Courts of Justice, Chichester Street, Belfast BT1 3JF.

If you intend to appear or to be represented at the hearing, it would assist the process if you could let us know in writing of your intention, together with your reasons to the address given above. We’ll share your objections with the Court.

Whilst you can make your views known up until the day of the Final Court Hearing, it would assist the process if you could let us have any responses prior to 12 March 2021, we can address any concerns you may have.

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Icon expand Does the Scheme include Ulster Bank Ireland DAC?

The proposed Scheme is for the transfer of the business carried out by Ulster Bank Limited and relates only to Northern Ireland.

Our Banking Services
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Icon expand Will the Ulster Bank brand change?

No. Our brand, and the look and feel of Ulster Bank, will not change as a result of the Scheme.

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Icon expand Will I still be able to use my local branch or mobile bank?

Yes. The use of Ulster Bank branches, ATMs and mobile bank will not change as a result of the Scheme.

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Icon expand Will I need to set up new Direct Debits?

There’s no need for you to complete new Direct Debit instructions.

NatWest will collect your Direct Debits instead of Ulster Bank Limited. The wording on your Direct Debit will still appear on your bank/building society statement exactly as it does today. If you view your DD details online or by mobile banking, you will see NatWest. You don’t need to do anything.

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Icon expand Will my Ulster Bank banknotes change?

We’re one of seven banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland that issue our own banknotes by the Bank of England.

As part of our transfer to NatWest, we asked the UK Parliament to pass a Statutory Instrument to allow NatWest to become the Promisor of our banknotes and for NatWest to guarantee payment of our banknotes in future.

On 24 June 2020, the UK Parliament approved this request. We’ll continue to issue Ulster Bank banknotes, but there will be a very small change on the note, mentioning that National Westminster Bank Plc will be the “Promisor” to guarantee payment of the notes. We’ll continue to assume liability for all notes in issue.

It may be some time before you see any notes with the NatWest clause in circulation, as it will only happen when existing notes need to be replaced as part of their natural replenishment lifecycle.

There is no need to change your current Ulster Bank banknotes over to the new banknotes. You will still be able to use them in the same way as you do today.

What does this mean?
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Icon expand What does it mean for me as I bank with Ulster Bank?

There is no change to your everyday banking services. You do not need to do anything. You’ll continue to receive the same products, using the same branch, same sort code and account number and same card and cheque book, under the same Ulster Bank brand as you do today.

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Icon expand If the Scheme is approved, I will have accounts with both Ulster Bank and NatWest. What does this mean for me?

Once the changes have taken effect, accounts held at Ulster Bank and NatWest will be within the same regulated legal entity, that is, NatWest.

Before the Effective Date, you may have had the benefit of FSCS protection for deposits at both Ulster Bank and NatWest. Today, if you have deposits with both Ulster Bank and NatWest, then each deposit is covered (currently up to £85,000 or £170,000 for a joint account) by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). When your Ulster Bank accounts transfer to NatWest, this means that they now come under the same legal entity, and you will be covered by FSCS protection in respect of NatWest only. Your FSCS cover will only be for one allowance of £85,000.

If the Scheme is approved, your deposits with Ulster Bank will be transferred to NatWest. You can make a withdrawal to reduce your deposits with NatWest either down to the FSCS coverage limit; or if before the transfer, you already had deposits with NatWest then you can reduce your deposits down to the level you had before the transfer, whichever of these is greater.

For example:

If you currently have a deposit of £100,000 with Ulster Bank and no deposits with NatWest, £100,000 would transfer to NatWest under the Scheme. You can withdraw the amount by which your deposits exceed the FSCS coverage limit, that is, £15,000 up to three months after the transfer date without being charged early withdrawal charges or account closure charges.

If you have £50,000 with Ulster Bank and £80,000 with NatWest, £50,000 would transfer to NatWest under the Scheme. This would mean you now have £130,000 at NatWest. As before the transfer, this was below the FSCS coverage limit, you can withdraw the amount by which your deposits exceed the FSCS coverage limit, that is £45,000 up to three months after the transfer date without being charged early withdrawal charges or account closure charges.

If you have £20,000 with Ulster Bank and £110,000 with NatWest, £20,000 would transfer to NatWest under the Scheme. This would leave you with £130,000 at NatWest. In this case, because the amount you had with NatWest before the transfer was above the FSCS coverage limit, you can withdraw the £20,000 transferred from Ulster Bank to NatWest up to three months after the transfer date without being charged early withdrawal charges or account closure charges.

You can do this for three months after the transfer date. We will not charge you any penalties or loss of interest earned if as a result of this you wish to make a withdrawal early from your accounts in these circumstances.

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Icon expand Will my Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection be affected?

Once the changes have taken effect, accounts held at Ulster Bank and NatWest will be within the same regulated legal entity.

Before the Effective Date, you may have had the benefit of FSCS protection for deposits at both Ulster Bank and NatWest. Today, if you have deposits with both Ulster Bank and NatWest, then each deposit is covered (currently up to £85,000 or £170,000 for a joint account) by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). When your Ulster Bank accounts transfer to NatWest, this means that they now come under the same legal entity, and you will be covered by FSCS protection in respect of NatWest only. Your FSCS cover will only be for one allowance of £85,000.

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Icon expand What other things could be affected by holding both an Ulster Bank and NatWest account?

The Scheme allows the bank to exercise certain rights that it would gain as a result of the transfer, and which could mean that a number of scenarios could be automatically applied to your Ulster Bank and NatWest accounts or automatically applied to the obligations of any guarantor you may have.

To protect you, the Scheme contains restrictions which mean that NatWest won’t be able to use rights it has acquired as a result of the Scheme. For some rights this will only be for a specific length of time.

We want to reassure you that we will not automatically apply any of these Contractual Rights for a minimum of three months from the Effective Date on 3 May 2021, that is until 3 August 2021, or if your lending facility runs for longer and has a contractual date in place, until that contractual date expires.

The Contractual Rights that you could be affected by if you have accounts with Ulster Bank and NatWest are:

  • Set-off / combination rights

NatWest will not be able to apply the set off right for three months from the date when the transfer is complete. If your deposit account is on as fixed term or promotional rate, then the three month restriction runs from the date when the fixed term or promotional rate ends.

For the following rights:

  • All Monies Rights
  • Consolidation rights (we can use security to cover debts housed in the other brand)
  • Cross-default
  • Increase in guaranteed obligations
  • Account control
  • Entire Agreement clauses

NatWest will not be permitted to exercise any of these rights unless these rights would have been exercised anyway, had the Scheme not happened.

If you wish to you can make a withdrawal for three months after the transfer date. You will not be charged early withdrawal or account closure charges if you make a withdrawal in these circumstances. We can help you find out if there is a suitable alternative account within the NatWest Group.

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Icon expand Will there be any changes to my existing documentation?

We will not be re-issuing new documentation to you for existing products and services with us.

However, from the Effective Date, expected to be 3 May 2021, you’ll start to notice a change to the legal entity and registered company address on any new correspondence from us and on our publicly available communications such as websites and brochures.

Our registered company address will change from 11 - 16 Donegall Square East, Belfast, BT1 5UB to 250 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4AA.

You’ll see the use of the NatWest Registration Number 121878 on the Financial Services Register on any future documentation.

Future documentation will reference:

National Westminster Bank Plc. Registered in England and Wales No. 929027. Registered Office: 250 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4AA. Financial Services Firm Reference Number 121878.

Our Ulster Bank branding will remain the same.

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Icon expand I’m in the process of taking out a mortgage/loan/opening a new savings account with Ulster Bank Limited? What does this mean for me?

Under the Scheme, there will be no change to the terms and conditions offered on your mortgage to date or to the products such as savings account offered.

If your new Ulster Bank mortgage account is opened before 3 May 2021, and the Scheme is given Court approval to go ahead, your mortgage account will be opened with Ulster Bank Limited and will transfer under the Scheme.

If you open your account on or after 3 May 2021, the Effective Date, your account will be opened directly with NatWest trading as Ulster Bank.

From the Effective Date, NatWest will be responsible for setting all Ulster Bank Mortgage Rates, including the Ulster Bank Base Rate and Ulster Bank Standard Variable Rate.

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Icon expand Will the implementation of the Scheme have any tax implications?

You should note that as a consequence of the Scheme, your product(s) will be provided by National Westminster Bank Plc (a company that, like Ulster Bank Limited, is resident for tax purposes in the United Kingdom). 

We’re unable to discuss the tax consequences for customers arising from the transfer. If you are in any doubt as to your tax position or your tax reporting requirements, please consult your professional advisers regarding any possible tax consequences of the transfer.

Personal Data
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Icon expand What will happen to my personal data?

If the Scheme goes ahead, Ulster Bank Limited will transfer the personal data that it currently holds about you to NatWest. NatWest will use your personal data in the same way and for the same purposes as Ulster Bank Limited holds your personal data. Furthermore, any marketing consents that you gave regarding marketing activity carried by Ulster Bank Limited and/or the wider NatWest Group will continue as before.

If you would like to revisit your marketing preferences following the Scheme, please visit:

https://personal.natwest.com/personal/privacy-policy.html#marketing

For more information regarding how NatWest will use your personal data, please visit:  https://personal.natwest.com/personal/privacy-policy.html

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Icon expand How will you protect my personal data?

Your personal data will be protected and kept safe in the same way as it is today. There will be no change to the control environment in which it is held or to the locations or jurisdictions where it is stored.

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