Ulster Ufirst .10% Discount - 'To appeal or not to appeal? That is the question!'


Registered User
Hi All,

Hope you can advise me on the pro's/con's of keeping a UFirst account for inclusion with my Appeal to the Independent Secretariat? I drew down a .85% margin tracker in Jan 2007 and fixed for 5years in June 2007. UFirst account closed in 2011.

Should I request the closure of this account to be reversed? On receiving advice from UB on numerous occasions (letter & phone) between 2009 & 2011 that trackers were no longer available I finally closed this account in 2011, a year before my 5 year fixed rate period ended (Aug 2012). The account came with a €500 overdraft, .10% mortgage discount and various perks (cheap concert tickets, dinner offers etc). I was only ever interested in the .10% discount.

I kept the account floating in OD from 2009-11 with the hope of getting my tracker back some day, however, in 2011 it seemed futile to hang onto a debt accruing account with no possibility of getting tracker reinstated. I was in financial difficulty at the time due to the high mortgage payments. The monthly €10 DD snowballed and UB closed the account very promptly on receiving a complaint from me over the phone that they continue to charge me for an account that I can realize no mortgage discount benefit from.

In short, I called the Bank concerning UFirst account and 'tracker rate' available to me post Fixed period ending in 2012, as I was really struggling with cash flow at the time - Now classified as 'Pre-Arrears'. UB said that they no longer offer trackers anymore and the conversation quickly went to "then why am I allowing the UFirst account to go further in the red if the tracker is lost forever"? UB promptly moved to clear the account and close same that week. No signature required from me to close a/c? Is this normal procedure?

It's interesting to note, that the above phone call conversation was a 2 fold complaint re a Tracker rate not being available at the end of the FR period and the recurring Ufirst account charges for an account solely held onto for purposes of realizing a further margin discount on mortgage. Following call, I received a complaint response letter only discussing my dismay at the UFirst charges and that they had closed the account and cleared the charges as a "gesture of goodwill". Food for thought....

That aside, my query is this...

After a battle in 2012/13 I managed to regain my original 'offer of advance' i.e. ECB margin of 0.85%.

Question 1 - If I now had a UFirst account should the margin charged reduce to 0.75% OR was the .10% built into the original offer of advance at mortgage application back in 2006? i.e .85% has the .10% built in?

Question 2 - On closing the UFirst a/c, is the .10% then added to the ECB margin i.e should my margin be .95%? Hope someone can clarify?

Mortgage Contract below..

Page 2 of my 'Initial Offer of Advance' from Ulster reads exactly as follows.

"The rate of the Ulster Bank Flexible Mortgage tracks the ECB rate with a margin which is fixed for the life of the Home Loan term. The margin for this Home Loan is ECB rate plus .85%. This margin is dependent on the amount borrowed and the value of the property to be mortgaged.

Please note that the U First Flexible Rate will only apply to your mortgage as long as you have a U First current account. Should you close this account for any reason your mortgage rate will transfer to the Standard Flexible mortgage rate. You will be notified of the increase in your payments prior to the amended repayment becoming payable."

Hope someone can advise? Any help is greatly appreciated.

Keep fighting the good fight!!


Frequent Poster
First of all you should ask them to clarify at what rate the loan was given to you. Was it .85% or .75%? That's something they should be able to clear up pretty quickly. They have to give you a statement of what rate your loan was at during the years. In my case my loan documents vary from the amount applied by .1%.

As you closed your UFirst account before your fixed rate ended you are unlikely to have much traction, but you can try. You could also offer to pay the UFirst fees dating back to the date your account was closed and have it reinstated?