John Walsh: The departure of two systemically important banks shows regulation has gone too far

No other country in the EU has as restrictive a regulatory regime for banks as Ireland, and it could permanently damage the sector here

Ulster Bank will exit the Republic Ireland market later this year, further reducing choice for both business and personal customers

The decision-making process in Ireland is usually paralysed by often needless scrutiny, yet two systemically important banks are about to leave the Irish market and their departure has barely registered with government or opposition politicians. There has been none of the usual hand-wringing that accompanies the loss of jobs and investment.

At the start of 2021, there were five retail banks servicing the Irish market. By the end of the year KBC and Ulster Bank ...