UK MPs to launch inquiry into Northern Ireland banking system

17 July 2013

The UK government's Northern Ireland Affairs Committee will hold a wide-ranging inquiry into the banking system in the country.

It will look at the way the banks are being run and how they provide finance to small and medium-sized businesses.

One of the major talking points in the financial sector in Northern Ireland is the future of Ulster Bank. The firm is owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland but is reportedly being considered for removal in a scheme that could see the parent company split into good and bad segments.

Ulster Bank could be part of that break-up and the inquiry will look into the future prospects of the bank should this happen.

Overall, the sector in Northern Ireland has been struggling, with redundancies rife and MPs have criticised institutions for not lending to small and medium-sized businesses that need the cash.

The committee will also look at the availability of banking in rural communities, which has been flagged as an issue as a result of the many closures across the nation.

By Asim Shah

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