Ulster Bank loss at €441m for first three months of 2011
Ulster Bank has reported an operating loss of €441m for the first quarter of 2011 due to an increase in bad loans.
In a trading update, it said that impairment losses increased from €438m to €540m in the first quarter and the bank said it continues to be impacted by the challenging economic climate here.
Its parent bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, said its exposure to Ireland hit its earnings overall, and RBS said it expects charges for bad debts from Ireland to remain high in the next three months, according to RTE News.
Ulster Bank said that the credit quality of customers has continued to decline and higher levels of defaulting on loans were also seen in the corporate investment and SME sectors.
Over 4,000 mortgage arrangements were put in place for customers having problems meeting their repayments and these include temporary reductions to repayments or loan extensions when appropriate, the bank said.
Ulster Bank said its income fell in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same time last year due to higher funding costs and the continued high cost of deposit raising.
Loans and advances to customers fell by 4% due to weak new business demand, but customer deposits rose slightly in the three month period.
Before impairment charges, Ulster Bank said it made an operating profit of €98m for the quarter. It said its early restructuring measures have left it in a position to capitalise on those growth opportunities that are starting to emerge in the more consolidated Irish banking market.