First Trust Bank

For other banks with a similar name, see First Bank.
First Trust
Subsidiary of AIB
Founded 1991
Headquarters Belfast, Northern Ireland
Key people
Des Moore, Head of First Trust Bank - 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.[1] These plans were subsequently shelved and instead the bank announced investment plans starting in 2014.[2]

Banking services

Allied Irish Banks' UK division, with total assets of €15.1 billion (approx £10 billion),[3] 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 30 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.


A £100 First Trust Bank note.

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:[4][5]

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.

See also


  1. "First Trust staff 'shocked' at sale". BBC News Online. 2 April 2010.
  2. Oral evidence given by First Trust Bank at a Northern Ireland Affairs Committee hearing in the House of Commons on 29th Jan 2014. See p31
  3. AIB Investor Relations
  4. "British Isles Coast Gallery By Mark Horton". BBC. Retrieved 2008-10-15.
  5. "Giant's Causeway - The Armada". Retrieved 2008-10-31.
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