Ulster Bank to sell more than 900 customers’ mortgages to vulture funds

Ulster Bank is to offer more than 900 distressed home loans to so called vulture funds, as part of a sale aimed at clearing the decks of the bank’s boom era problem assets.

The sale of €2.5bn of distressed business loans (65pc), buy-to-let mortgages and owner occupier mortgages is aimed at substantially clearing out all remaining toxic property linked loans on the bank’s book on both sides of the border.
The bank has appointed PWC to seek buyers for the loans, either in a single lot or broken into tranches

Debtors won’t be told until the deal closes whether their loans are included in the sale.
It is the first time customers’ home loans have been sold by Ulster Bank since the crash, though it has previously offloaded billions of euro of distressed commercial property loans.

It is understood that 95pc of the 900 home loans being sold are two years or more in arrears on repayments, and all are already subject to court action by the bank to repossess their home.
David Hall of the Irish Mortgage Holders’ Organisation says the Ulster Bank sale of the loan book would be the first of many, as other banks would now do the same.

He said mortgage holders who are part of the Ulster Bank loan book sale were likely to be people unable to make any repayments on their home loans.
“It is completely unacceptable that vulnerable people who may not be able to make any payments are being nuked and sold to vulture funds.

“This is simply the outsourcing of the repossessions process to vulture funds,” he said.
An Ulster Bank spokesperson said: “Ulster Bank has confirmed a significant impaired loan portfolio sale enabling the bank to strengthen its balance sheet for the benefit of its customers and much needed competition in the banking market. The loans involved do not belong to typical customers, they are all in Ulster Bank’s problem debt management unit and in arrears or under specialist management for a significant period of time.”

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