- For other banks with a similar name, see AIB.
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AIB (Northern Ireland) (formerly known as First Trust Bank), part of AIB's UK subsidiary AIB Group (UK) plc, is a commercial bank in Northern Ireland. It forms part of one of the Big Four banks in Ireland. The bank was created in 1991 when TSB Northern Ireland merged with the AIB Group's other interests. The bank can trace its existence back to 1816 with the founding of the Belfast Savings Bank. The bank was one of the four banks that issued Pound Sterling banknotes in Northern Ireland until February 2019; First Trust notes are still in circulation. Allied Irish Banks confirmed plans to sell off the bank in April 2010 as part of plans to raise capital, however these plans were subsequently shelved and instead the bank announced investment plans starting in 2014. The bank traded as First Trust Bank in Northern Ireland until November 2019.
|Type||Division of AIB Group (UK) plc|
|Headquarters||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Adrian Moynihan, Head of AIB – Northern Ireland|
|Products||Various banking products|
Allied Irish Banks' UK division, with total assets of €15.1 billion (approx £10 billion), operates in two distinct markets, Northern Ireland and Great Britain (where it operates as Allied Irish Bank (GB)), with different economies and operating environments. AIB Group (UK) p.l.c., registered in the UK and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, operates as the legal entity for the division.
In the Northern Ireland market, the division operated under the trading name First Trust Bank from 30 full service branches throughout the region until it rebranded in November 2019. The AIB NI Head Office is located in Belfast, together with the Business Services Centre. A full service is offered to business and personal customers, across the range of customer segments, including personal customers, small and medium-sized enterprises, and the corporate sector. Specialist services, including mortgages, invoice discounting and asset finance are based in Belfast and delivered throughout the division (the credit/debit card operations were split in 2007, with the Card Issuing business transferred to the AIB Head Office in Dublin in 2007, and the Card Acquiring (merchant) business becoming a joint venture with First Data Merchant Services in 2009). AIB NI Independent Financial Services provides sales and advice on regulated products and services, including protection, investment and pension requirements to the whole of the division.
In common with the other Big Four banks of Northern Ireland, the First Trust Bank has retained the right to issue its own banknotes, though production will cease on 30th June 2020. These are pound sterling notes and equal in value to Bank of England notes, and should not be confused with banknotes of the former Irish pound.
Earlier note issues by the bank were made under the bank's previous names: the Provincial Bank of Ireland Ltd. (to 1976), Allied Irish Banks Ltd. (1977–1986), and Allied Irish Banks PLC (1987–1993).
Still in circulation, First Trust Bank's current notes depict two generic people, one male, one female. They appear as children on the £1 and £5 notes, as middle-aged on the £10 and £20, and finally as elderly on the £50 and £100. The obverse designs generally feature images associated with the Spanish Armada, commemorating the wrecking of 24 Armada ships off the coast of County Antrim in 1588:
- 10 pound note featuring the ship Girona
- 20 pound note featuring the chimney at Lacada Point, Giant's Causeway, near Dunluce, County Antrim, where the Girona was wrecked.
- 50 pound note featuring a commemorative medal
- 100 pound note featuring the Spanish Armada
A £5 note featuring Dunluce Castle on the obverse and a £1 note also featuring the Girona were issued by the Provincial Bank of Ireland and by AIB, but have not been issued by First Trust Bank.
- "First Trust staff 'shocked' at sale". BBC News. 2 April 2010.
- Oral evidence given by First Trust Bank at a Northern Ireland Affairs Committee hearing in the House of Commons on 29 January 2014. See p31 https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmniaf/uc650-xi/uc650xi.pdf
- AIB Investor Relations
- "British Isles Coast Gallery By Mark Horton". BBC. Retrieved 15 October 2008.
- "Giant's Causeway – The Armada". NorthAntrim.com. Archived from the original on 15 February 2009. Retrieved 31 October 2008.
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