Bank of Ireland scoops lucrative University of Limerick contract

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

NUJ call: the union has called on UL to withdraw legal proceedings entered in the High Court against the Limerick Leader. Below, Seamus Dooley of the NUJ
A MULTI-MILLION euro contract to operate the main bank at the University of Limerick has been reclaimed by Bank of Ireland, which last held the contract 10 years ago.

A MULTI-MILLION euro contract to operate the main bank at the University of Limerick has been reclaimed by Bank of Ireland, which last held the contract 10 years ago.

Bank of Ireland has confirmed that the deal has been signed off with UL, after intense negotiations. UL has not commented to date on any new contract.

The Limerick Leader understands that the bank is set to re-open during the first week of September, when students return to the campus.

Ulster Bank opened in UL in September 2005, after it outbid Bank of Ireland, whose representatives at the time were shocked to be ousted from the burgeoning campus, which now caters for more than 13,000 students, plus staff.

However, during the Celtic Tiger days Ulster Bank had proposed a very lucrative package to the university and its students, including a €110,000 a year package for students alone.

Under this sum it is understood that some €42,000 went to clubs and societies each year. During the successful tender, the winning bank also established the Ulster Bank Enablement Fund, following their arrival on campus.

This fund supported the university’s clubs and societies, student development, its alumni activities and other worthy on-campus projects.

Over its 10-year contract, this amounted to €1.1m, and the bank also supported the annual president’s gala dinner.

The details of the negotiations with the new operators, and what they may offer to students, have not been revealed to date, despite queries from the Limerick Leader to Bank of Ireland.

Ulster Bank closed its UL branch on July 31 but maintains a branch in the city.