DEBT-RIDDEN Ulster Bank has announced plans to sell and leaseback its main Belfast properties.
Ulster bank’s parent company the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Group will take on the leases at Donegall Square in Belfast centre and Danesfort in south Belfast
The Donegall Square branch, which also forms its NI headquarters, is valued at £19.4m. They are planning to lease it for 15 years for just under £1.5m annually.
The Danesfort offices on the Stranmillis Road could fetch £8m and will be rented back on a 10-year lease for £783,000 annually.
Ulster bank is also selling and leasing back its 1891-built bank at College Green in central Dublin for £9.22 million.
RBS will then take on a 10-year lease of the building at an annual rent of £719,000.
There has been a rise since 2007 in corporate sale and leasebacks.
It allows banks secure capital at a time when cash is highly sought after.
It enables corporate bodies to raise capital through the business but, unlike a loan, it does not have to be paid back.
The move comes as RBS’s future is being considered by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards.
In February, Ulster Bank reported losses of more than £1bn for 2012, a slight increase on the previous year.
RBS reported losses of more than £5bn for 2012.