Permanent TSB is to invest an additional €50m in its technology infrastructure and digital capability in preparation for a planned significant expansion of customers and services over the coming years.

The money comes on top of the €100m already committed to upgrade its digital services and technology systems.

"The additional €50 million digital investment announced today complements our commitment to maintaining our branch network and supporting communities nationwide, enabling us to offer customers a seamless digital experience online, as well as personal support and advice in branch or via our open 24 contact centres," said Permanent TSB's Chief Technology Officer Tom Hayes.

The development comes as the lender continues discussions with NatWest over the potential purchase of a large portion of Ulster Bank’s loan book.

NatWest announced earlier this year that it is winding down its operation in the Republic of Ireland and had begun talks with Permanent TSB with a view to selling it the bulk of its €14 billion mortgage book.

PTSB could also take on Ulster Bank’s deposits and part of its retail branch network, with the result that its customer numbers could increase very significantly, putting additional pressure on its IT systems.

'Permanent TSB confirms that negotiations are continuing with NatWest in relation to acquiring certain aspects of Ulster Bank’s Retail and SME business," a spokesperson for PTSB said.

"Until this process has concluded there can be no certainty that an acquisition will occur or on what terms.

"If an agreement is to be reached, it needs to be a viable option for Permanent TSB that provides certainty for customers, makes commercial sense for our shareholders and adds appropriate value to the bank," the spokesperson added.

Permanent TSB has already upgraded its core IT platforms, boosted customer security and introduced a new platform to enable open banking.

It has also developed its mobile app and web portal, with the ability to open a current account online in less than 10 minutes coming next month.

The programme is being carried out in partnership with EY, Infosys and Finacle.