Ulster Bank mortgage holders urged to sit tight

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A prominent mortgage expert has urged Ulster Bank mortgage holders and applicants not to panic and to sit tight after the announcement of the bank’s withdrawal from the Irish market.

However, the bank’s exit will be a blow to competition within the Irish mortgage market, which is key to keeping rates low, according to doddl.ie Managing Director Martina Hennessy.

“Ulster Bank are still open for business and any mortgage applications which are in process or approvals which have been granted are still valid within the terms of the approval or loan offer,” said Ms Hennessy.

“The exit could take years and from a mortgage perspective, Ulster Bank are still accepting applications, and still honouring loan offers, so there is no need for applicants to panic.

“In the future, the bank could continue to own and hold the mortgages but contract out the servicing of those loans to a management company.

“Alternatively, Ulster Bank could transfer or sell the loans to another financial institution – either one of the mainstream Irish banks or a private equity house.

“Regardless of who buys an existing mortgage, the terms and conditions agreed between the bank and the customer in the mortgage contract continue and the full protections of the Consumer Protection code apply.

“Tracker mortgage holders should certainly not switch provider, but for those looking for alternative banking relationships there is no immediate urgency to do so.”

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