Ronan Reid, CEO of Financial Services Group at Cantor Fitzgerald, said Ulster Bank's withdrawal from the market is disappointing.

"It's one less competitor and banks, at the end of the day, are important lending institutions," Mr Reid stated. 

He described AIB and Permanent TSB's interest in Ulster's business loan book as positive news. 

"AIB discussions seem more advanced. They are focused on the corporate loan book," he stated,.

"I think in the case of Permanent TSB, for them to acquire an additional loan book would be good at this time," he added. 

He said the bigger challenge is the deposit side of Ulster Bank where deposits are likely to see moves to negative rates by banks.  

"I think it will be reflected in their pricing. I think we'll see banks move more generally to negative interest rates on deposits. I don't think the banks will be rushing to get that money," Mr Reid said. 

"I think some of the money will find its way into investment markets inevitably. Prices have been strong and remain strong," he added.

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ISME urges businesses to get ahead of problem

The chief executive of ISME has said it is advising any small businesses who bank with Ulster Bank "to get ahead of the problem" and seek to move their banking business to another provider to secure a better deal before the bank sells on its assets.

Neil McDonnell told the News at One that 14-15% of ISME members bank with Ulster Bank. 

He said that small businesses with a turnover of less than €3m are regarded in consumer and competition law as consumers rather than business. 

He said that despite the notifications from the bank that people need to do nothing, ISME "would always advise small businesses with  any loan, overdraft or mortgage with Ulster Bank that it is an asset on that bank balance sheet and is for sale". 

Mr McDonnell said these business people will be in a better position to secure a better deal if they start negotiating with other providers rather than wait for a done deal by Ulster Bank. 

ISME also expressed concerns about the lack for commercial and retail banking in Ireland after Ulster Bank leave the market.

No need for Ulster Bank customers to panic 

The chairperson of the Association of Irish Mortgage Advisors, said there is no need for Ulster Bank mortgage account holders to panic after today's developments.

Trevor Grant said that Ulster Bank mortgage holders have protection under the Consumer Protection Code regarding the current terms and conditions of their mortgage as per their loan offer.

He noted that borrowers may find that if a fund buys their home loan, they will not be able to borrow further with that entity and will have to switch provider for additional funds or a new mortgage.