First Trust Bank
- For other banks with a similar name, see First Bank.
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|Type||Subsidiary of AIB|
|Founded||Belfast, Northern Ireland (1991)|
|Headquarters||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Key people||John Kilty, General Manager - Northern Ireland|
|Products||Various banking products|
First Trust Bank, part of the AIB Group, 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 is one of the four banks that issues Pound Sterling banknotes in Northern Ireland. Allied Irish Banks confirmed plans to sell off the bank in April 2010 as part of plans to raise capital. These plans have since been put on hold.
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 Services Authority, operates as the legal entity for the division.
In the Northern Ireland market, the division operates under the trading name First Trust Bank from 38 full service branches throughout the region. The First Trust Bank 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). First Trust 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 retains the right to issue its own banknotes. Until the name change in 1991, these banknotes bore the name Allied Irish Bank. 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).
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 Online. 2 April 2010.
- AIB Investor Relations
- "British Isles Coast Gallery By Mark Horton". BBC. Retrieved 2008-10-15.
- "Giant's Causeway - The Armada". NorthAntrim.com. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
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