Bank loans

Permanent TSB’s plan to acquire €7.6 billion in loans from Ulster Bank is set to be investigated at arm’s length

Permanent TSB’s plan to secure 7.6 billion euros in loans and other assets from Ulster Bank is the latest banking deal to be fully investigated by the watchdog. competition amid significant concerns about less competition.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, or CCPC, said the deal reached late last year will now be referred to a so-called full Phase 2 investigation “to establish whether the proposed transaction could result in a substantial lessening of competition in the state.”

Bids on the deal can be made until the end of the month.

Permanent TSB had finalized a deal in December with Ulster to acquire €7 billion in mortgages, 20 branches and €600 million in other SME loans and assets.

It is one of several deals that existing lenders have struck after last year’s explosive decisions by Ulster Bank and KBC Bank to strike in the Republic.

Their departure has raised fears that competition may further diminish in Ireland’s banking sector.

The CCPC has already submitted plans to the Bank of Ireland to acquire €9 billion in mortgages from KBC in a full Phase 2 investigation and is likely to also come up with plans from AIB which have been confirmed. at the end of last month to get £6bn of Ulster tracker mortgages fully investigated as well.

However, the watchdog cleared a deal with AIB to secure €3.7bn in commercial loans from Ulster after a thorough investigation, but raised concerns about increased levels of market concentration.

Meanwhile, the government’s stake in Bank of Ireland has fallen below 4%, the lender said.