About Ulster Bank

Founded in Belfast in 1836, Ulster Bank expanded to the rest of Ireland in 1860 and in 1968 was the first bank to introduce an ATM.(1)

Ulster Bank mortgage deals are available to a wide range of people in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, but they generally won’t lend to you if you have particularly bad credit.

Some of the mortgage types on offer include fixed-rate mortgages, variable rate mortgages and existing tracker rate customers mortgages. 

We’ve reviewed some of the UK’s top mortgage lenders and measured their service, application speed and affordability.

In this review we’ll cover:

All information on this page was up to date as of August 2019.

Is Ulster Bank a good mortgage lender?

There are many ways to measure how good a lender is. We've chosen to focus on publicly available complaints data to estimate their quality of service.

We looked at Ulster Bank’s customer complaints record between July and December 2018. (1) During this period, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) received 190 officially upheld complaints. That’s around 0.2% of customers, which is slightly lower than the 0.4% average across the major lenders.

The number of customers served by this lender isn’t publicly available so we’ve estimated this figure based on market share and average house price in the UK.

How long does an Ulster Bank mortgage application take?

We don’t currently have access to data on how long an Ulster Bank mortgage application takes. As a general rule, the speed of application will vary depending on your own personal circumstances and the lender’s present day-to-day performance. In some cases, applications can be approved by the lender within 24 hours, while some can take weeks or even months. 

This can also be impacted by the quality of the application submitted, which is why you may want to consider using a mortgage broker. The average quoted speed therefore may not reflect your own experience.

How much could I afford to borrow from Ulster Bank?

The amount you can borrow for a mortgage can vary. Ulster Bank can lend up to a maximum of 4.5 times your income before tax if you’re borrowing less than 80% of the price of your home.

You’ll find Ulster Bank’s mortgage calculator on their website – this will give you an estimate of how much you may be able to borrow.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What types of mortgages do Ulster Bank offer?

Ulster Bank provides a range of different mortgages, including fixed rate, variable rate and existing tracker rate customers mortgages. 

Ulster Bank fixed-rate mortgage

With Ulster Bank’s fixed-rate mortgage, your monthly repayment amount remains the same for a set period of time, ranging from two to seven years. 

Fixed-rate mortgages are worth considering if you want to know exactly how much you’ll be paying each month so that you can plan your finances. 

When your fixed rate mortgage period comes to an end it’ll switch to a standard variable rate mortgage unless you opt for another product.

Ulster Bank variable rate mortgage

If you decide to go for a variable rate mortgage with Ulster Bank, your mortgage repayments will align with the Ulster Bank Variable Rate for the entire loan period. 

This rate isn’t linked to the European Central Bank base rate so can fluctuate at any time, even if the ECB base rate stays the same.

Ulster bank currently enables its variable rate mortgage customers to switch to a fixed rate mortgage at any time without an Early Redemption Charge. 

Ulster Bank existing tracker rate customers mortgage

Existing tracker rate borrowers looking to move home can switch to Ulster Bank’s 10 year European Central Bank tracker rate. This is subject to affordability criteria and the new mortgage repayment amount could be higher.

Do Ulster Bank credit check after a mortgage offer?

Ulster Bank carry out affordability checks, including a credit check, in the assessment phase of the mortgage application process and just before they offer you a mortgage.

However if new information comes to light later on, Ulster Bank may need to credit check again and recalculate whether you can afford the mortgage.

They could withdraw their offer.

When is my first mortgage payment to Ulster Bank due?

Following the completion stage, Ulster Bank will confirm the amount of initial interest they’ll charge you, and when the first payment will be taken.

How much can you overpay on an Ulster Bank mortgage?

If you have an Ulster Bank standard variable rate mortgage, there’s no limit on the amount you can repay. 

However if you’re on a fixed rate mortgage, you’ll have to pay an early repayment charge (ERC) if you pay back all or part of your mortgage loan before the fixed period ends. 

(You can, however, make an overpayment of up to £1,000 each year without any penalty.)

Do Ulster Bank offer mortgage payment holidays?

Ulster Bank mortgage payment holidays are only available after the first six months and are subject to approval.

What will happen when my Ulster Bank mortgage deal ends?

You should receive a letter from the bank two months before your mortgage deal is due to end; as well as information on the current balance and remaining term, this will tell you where to go to view the mortgage options available to you.

Do Ulster Bank offer online banking?

Yes, Ulster Bank has online banking and an Anytime Banking mobile app. You can also upload, sign and view all your documents online when you apply for a mortgage.

What insurance do Ulster Bank require me to have?

Anyone with a mortgage on a property has to have buildings insurance in place - this helps safeguard the lender’s investment in your home. 

Contents insurance isn’t compulsory but is highly recommended.

Did I have PPI on my Ulster Bank mortgage?

To find out if you were sold PPI, check your mortgage agreement. It’s likely that you’ve been sold it if the document contains any of the following terms:

  • Payment cover

  • Protection plan

  • Loan protection

  • ASU

  • Loan care

The FCA deadline for PPI complaints was 29 August 2019, however you might be able to file a complaint if there is a “significant or exceptional” reason as to why you missed the deadline.

What are Ulster Bank’s mortgage contact details?

You can call Ulster Bank on 0800 046 6486, Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 8pm (excluding bank holidays).  For alternative contact methods, visit their website.

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Your home could be repossessed if you don't keep up repayments on your mortgage.

You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage.

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Sources

Information was sourced from Ulster Bank’s own website, unless referenced below.

(1) RBS

(2) FCA

(3) Money Advice Service