Ian Guider: The state is staying silent as two banks prepare to shut up shop

The withdrawals of Ulster Bank and KBC Bank are close at hand, but the Department of Finance and the Central Bank are conspicuous by their silence on the seismic changes in the sector. Why?

The easy work, of selling off loan portfolios and assets, has largely been done by Ulster Bank and KBC themselves. The real tricky part is what to do with the customers who rely on the banks for their day-to-day transactions. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Over the next number of weeks, just under one million Ulster Bank customers will have received letters or emails telling them the time is approaching for them to close their accounts. A few weeks later, hundreds of thousands of KBC Bank customers will be on the receiving end of similar communications about that bank’s planned withdrawal from this country.

What was once unthinkable in Irish banking – the outright closure of two institutions – is ...