Ian Guider: Three’s definitely not a crowd in our banking sector

KBC and Ulster Bank’s exit from the Irish market will leave only AIB, Bank of Ireland and PTSB as serious players and the dearth of competition will come at a cost to bank customers

A very visible sign of the flux in the banking sector is the share prices of PTSB, AIB and Bank of Ireland: all three hit a one-year high last week. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Are we in the early stages of witnessing what the future of banking in Ireland looks like as KBC and Ulster Bank prepare to exit?

Over the last week or so, the three remaining Irish banks, in which taxpayers to a varying degree own substantial stakes, said they will be moving back into profitability this year as the effects of the pandemic on businesses and consumers ease.

What the recent positive statements from the banks ...