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First Citizen enters the Irish Car Finance Market with €150,000,000 Revolving Credit Facility By Brian Foley

First Citizen Finance Ltd (“First Citizen”) enters the Irish Car Finance Market - led by Chris Hanlon, one of the leading figures in the Car Finance Industry in Ireland over the past two decades and former Chief Executive of permanent tsb finance Limited.

Mr. Hanlon confirms that First Citizen has secured funding with a group of international lenders including Deutsche Bank to provide facilities for new and used car finance, which is a massive boost for the Irish Motor Industry and buyers of new and used cars.

The company distributes its finance products through Motor Dealers across the country, online via www.firstcitizen.ie and by phone (01 8846700).

Mr. Hanlon said that previously recognised Credit Intermediaries ("Motor Dealers") will be accredited and connected to Autoline - the company's automated proprietary processing system for car finance applications.

He has also announced that First Citizen has taken up the sponsorship of Norah Casey's Harmonia-published Auto Ireland Buyers Guide (compiled and edited by Brian Foley) which permanent tsb finance had sponsored for the last 19 years. The Guide is available in digital form and is an invaluable tool for First Citizen in maintaining contact with thousands of former customers. It is online at www.firstcitizen.ie now.

First Citizen was formed 12 months ago by Chris Hanlon and colleagues from the former Management Team of permanent tsb Finance. To date the company has concentrated on managing loan books in the Motor/ Agri and Personal Finance sectors including the loan book of the former permanent tsb finance business. First Citizen now provides a range of services to a number of large financial services companies. The company assists them in their retail, commercial and corporate portfolios in Ireland with an emphasis on Portfolio Management, the Collection of Assets and a complete range of Legal and Recovery options.

Mr. Hanlon said "It has been our ambition to provide finance for new and used car purchases and we have achieved that goal ahead of schedule. Ultimately, we aim to grow First Citizen to become the largest consumer finance company in Ireland".

New car sales in Ireland have fallen from a ten year average (1998-2007) of 170,000 units to a current size of approximately 75,000 units per annum, a reduction of over 55%. It is believed that the Car Finance Market has fallen even further, by as much as 70% on the Retail side, to a current market size of approximately €1.1bn per annum (incorporating both Consumer and Non-Consumer).

Mr. Hanlon said that First Citizen hoped to capture 15% of this combined market. He expressed confidence that the market will return to growth over the coming years as the car population continues to age and the economy moves into recovery.

First Citizen offer a complete range of Motor Finance products; Consumer Hire Purchase, Non-Consumer Hire Purchase and Leasing Agreements and will continue to manage and provide funding for New Vehicles and Hire Drive Units. In addition, the company is aware of some significant opportunities presented by a number of Lenders who are planning to exit or reduce their exposure to the domestic market and First Citizen is working to provide solutions in this area.

First Citizen is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland as a Retail Credit Firm.

From left to right: Lorcan O’Tighearnaigh (Head of Credit & Risk), Gearóid O’Daly (Finance & Operations Director), Cathal MacCarthy (Director), Gerry Hargadon (Head of Sales) and Chris Hanlon (Managing Director)