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Bank of Scotland pulls out of Ireland

Lloyds Banking Group will begin winding up Bank of Scotland Ireland business after being hit by the Irish property crash.

The bank has revealed it will begin winding down its Irish operations into Bank of Scotland and will also begin to wind down its Irish portfolio, completing by December 31 2010.

The decision, which follows Lloyds’ announcement that it was to close down the retail and intermediary BoSI business, comes after the bank admitted last month that as much as 90 per cent of its €13.3bn commercial property book in Ireland was impaired.

BoSI has 150,000 customers and a loan book of €30 billion, of which 44 per cent is in arrears. This book will be managed by a local loan servicing company.

Lloyds says the decision to leave the Irish market was due to “little opportunity for scalable growth in the future”. Its Halifax business in Ireland and Northern Ireland remains unaffected.

Unite regional organiser Brian Gallagher says: “There was so much hope when BoSI was established, so many promises that persuaded people to come on board and lay the foundation for a long career. Those promises now lie like dust and the future for 800 staff is clouded by uncertainty.”

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