They sell their loan book to one of the players who is staying in the market at a deep discount. If the recovery on the loans is better both share in the upside.
(the smart move)
They go down the ACC route and appoint a few really aggressive* foreign workout bankers and roast as many people as possible with personal guarantees.
(the fun move for everyone else to sit back and watch)
for “really aggressive” means normal, logical, tough, intelligent professional competent foreign bankers who expect to get paid back loans that they have outstanding.
I reckon the key here is that BoSI are independent in terms of their financial clout and not having any vested political interests in Ireland. HQ back on the Mainland can simply throw money at their Irish disaster - they’ll probably be happy to pay a premium and just to get the hell out. They don’t care about NAMA or Anglo or being sweet to Mr. Elderfield or Mr. Lenihan. They can just cut loose and gtfo.
And in the context of Halifax closing, I’m guessing this was always the plan - wind down the front of house operation first and then shut the back office.