Page last updated at 10:12 GMT, Thursday, 26 February 2009

Ulster Bank 'has solid future'

Ulster Bank headquarters in Belfast
The Ulster Bank has said that more than 700 jobs will be lost

The Ulster Bank has a "solid future" despite massive 2008 losses by its parent company Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), its chief executive has said.

The annual loss by RBS of 24.1bn is the largest in UK corporate history.

Ulster Bank chief executive Cormac McCarthy said: "We've got a very good franchise and customers, and in the long run our business will be solid."

He said the Ulster Bank had been identified as a core part of RBS and they would be focusing hard on growth.

Figures released on Thursday show Ulster Bank remained in profit last year, although the figure was down 76% to 117m.

Mr McCarthy said the loss posted by RBS - which will see it put 325bn of toxic assets into a scheme that offers insurance for any future losses - were a "turning point" for the group.

"There's no doubt that what's happened in the past is very disappointing but we're definitely looking at a big change in the Royal Bank of Scotland Group today," he said.

The Ulster Bank, which has more than 1.8m customers, has 145 branches in the Republic and 92 in Northern Ireland.

The bank announced last month that it planned to cut 550 jobs in the Republic, and 200 in Northern Ireland.

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SEE ALSO
RBS reports record corporate loss
26 Feb 09 |  Business
Ulster Bank to lay off 750 staff
26 Jan 09 |  Northern Ireland

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