Ulster Bank has announced an update of its phased withdrawal process from the Irish market, saying it has reached an agreement with Irish Life Financial Services to make ongoing advice services available to policy holders.

The agreement relates to life assurance products, pensions, investment and protection policies which were and will continue to be underwritten by Irish Life Assurance, for which Ulster Bank acted as insurance intermediary for its customers.

Since customer policies are already provided by Irish Life Assurance, the terms and conditions of the policies are not affected in any way.

Ulster Bank said the transfer is effective from July 31 this year.

The bank said it is writing to customers to inform them of this transfer, which includes the transfer of their personal data that it holds. Customers will also be offered an opportunity to opt-out, should they so wish.

Customers will continue to receive annual correspondence directly from Irish Life Assurance in relation to their existing policy and their policies will continue to be serviced and administered by Irish Life Assurance until the policy maturity date, the bank added.

"Today's announcement represents further progress on our phased withdrawal from the Republic of Ireland and I am pleased that this transfer will offer these customers a seamless process as we transfer their service to Irish Life," Ulster Bank's chief executive Jane Howard said.

"We will be contacting customers shortly in this regard to ensure that they remain supported throughout the transfer," the CEO added.

Irish Life Financial Services is a subsidiary of Irish Life Group and a tied agent of Irish Life Assurance.

Ulster Bank said last year that it was going to wind down its operations in the Republic of Ireland.

Last month the lender said it had started writing to its 900,000 current and deposit account customers to give them six months' notice to move their accounts to another institution where required or close them.

The bank said the letters were being sent on a phased and rolling basis in order to try to ensure that the process is orderly.

It is planning to sell €7.6 billion of assets including performing non-tracker mortgages, performing SME loans, its asset finance business and 25 branches to Permanent TSB.

AIB is also set to buy €4.2 billion in performing corporate and commercial loans from it.

However, none of the deals include the 900,000 current and deposit accounts which Ulster Bank currently has.

Instead, those account holders, including 360,000 primary active personal accounts and 300,000 deposit accounts, will either have to move them to a new institution or close them.