Ulster Bank, Responsible Business | Business in the Community NI

Ulster Bank

Ulster Bank is owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and employs 2,100 people in Northern Ireland, serving approximately 600,000 personal and business customers. Its ambition is to be the number one for customer service, trust and advocacy.


Established in Belfast in 1836, Ulster Bank has always been at the centre of enterprise and the heart of community across Northern Ireland. It believes in running its organisation in a responsible and sustainable way as it supports customers, colleagues and communities to prosper.

Clearly defined values around serving customers, working together, doing the right thing, and thinking long term, all help it focus on meeting its purpose, achieving its ambition and doing business responsibly.

What Ulster Bank did

A cultural change programme that put running the business in a responsible and sustainable way at the heart of all activities was rolled out across the organisation.

For its customers, that meant clear communications, simple products and accessibility with initiatives such as bringing Sign Video, a virtual interpretation service and Dementia Friends training across front line teams. Customers in branches where a permanent presence is not available were supported with a Community Banker and TechXpert to help customers with other ways to bank.

For its people that means developing the most professional workforce of any bank through the Professional Banking Certificate, building their skills and capabilities to offer the best service possible.  The bank also has a focus on four wellbeing pillars – mental, physical, lifestyle and financial.

For communities, the bank has looked at how it offers innovative solutions to help meet societal needs, from digital adoption through to a mobile bank servicing 12 towns and villages across Northern Ireland. It has also offered funding and support to help communities develop.

Ulster Bank has encouraged CR with customers through ‘in branch’ awareness activity and charitable fundraising. It was the first bank in NI to enable customers to donate directly to charity via ATMs.

Its sustainable procurement code promotes responsible business practices by implementing strong CR practice through the supply chain.

The bank has developed its ‘Bank on Wheels’ – a mobile service that visits 12 towns and villages weekly. No other bank in Northern Ireland offers this service.

Impacts and Outcomes

  • Trained more than 600 colleagues in CPR
  • The first bank in Northern Ireland to achieve and be re-accredited for CORE
  • 16 Dementia Friends Community Champions rolled out training to almost 200 colleagues
  • £155,312 raised during One Week in June for Cash for Kids, supporting more than 5,000 children
  • 74 volunteers delivered MoneySense lessons across Northern Ireland in 2017, equipping children from 5-18 with the skills to make good financial choices
  • £244,390 of funding through the Skills & Opportunities Fund has supported 14 organisations to deliver 15 projects, helping nearly 5,000 people, with 50% achieving qualifications; 55 securing employment, 13 jobs created, and five new business start-ups generated
  • Partnership with Entrepreneurial Spark supported 264 entrepreneurs, who have created 658 jobs and raised over £15m in investment.
  • More than 1,000 employer supported volunteering hours into the community by colleagues
  • More than 100 uses of UBNI premises in 2017 for charity, community and arts organisations
  • Staff Charity Fund NI – £3m donated in the last 25 years and recently marked 1,000th This is from money donated directly from colleague payroll, managed by a team of volunteer colleagues.
  • Reduced energy consumption in 2017 by 5%

For more information, please email gillian.orr@ulsterbank.com