Irish finance minister welcomes AIB, PTSB interest in NatWest Irish loans

DUBLIN, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said on Friday the banking landscape would be poorer as a result of NatWest’s decision to exit Ireland but welcomed the interest from other local banks in parts of its loan book.

Allied Irish Banks entered a non-binding agreement with NatWest to buy around 4 billion euros ($4.8 billion) of corporate and commercial loans. Mortgage lender permanent tsb (PTSB) is in early talks to buy some retail and small- and medium-size enterprise assets, liabilities and operations.

“While this is positive news and indicates the potential further development of already well established Irish banks, there is still much work to be done over the coming months,” Donohoe said in a statement.

$1 = 0.8258 euros Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Edmund Blair