Thursday, 18 February 2021
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
Gerald Nash (Louth, Labour)
As the Tánaiste knows, we are reaching the endgame on Ulster Bank and the imminent decision we expect from NatWest. Obviously, Ulster Bank is at a crossroads. Earlier, the Tánaiste mentioned the need to consider a third banking force in the context of Irish banking and the Irish economy. It seems that an obvious partner for Ulster Bank's assets and business would potentially be Permanent TSB. I say this because we can use our significant influence as the major shareholder of Permanent TSB to leverage a positive outcome for Irish workers and Irish business and seek to break the Bank of Ireland and AIB duopoly. We know we have issues with competition in this country. It is not just, of course, because we have a limited number of banks in the market as there are also other issues. Will the Tánaiste comment on how he sees the proposition of a third banking force developing over the next period of time?