Bank of Scotland, a subsidiary of Lloyds Banking Group, will cease to operate as a licensed bank in Ireland from the end of December 2010.

The decision follows a strategic review of banking business of Bank of Scotland (Ireland) by Lloyds Banking Group, in which it concluded that there was little opportunity for scalable growth in the future.

Effective 31 December 2010 assets of Bank of Scotland (Ireland) will be transferred to UK-based Bank of Scotland PLC.

To retain local administrative capability, historic knowledge and continuity of customer relationships, Bank of Scotland would enter into an agreement with an independent service company which would perform various administrative functions relating to the Bank of Scotland (Ireland) banking business.

The majority of Bank of Scotland (Ireland) employees would transfer to the service company.

The bank said its other business operations, including its Halifax branch network in Northern Ireland, would not be affected by the shutdown.

Earlier this year, Lloyds Banking Group decided to close the retail and intermediary business of Bank of Scotland Ireland. The proposals are subject to the necessary approvals.