Tuesday 31 May 2016

Ulster Bank profits fall 40pc to €362m, RBS posts eighth straight annual loss

Published 26/02/2016 | 08:12

A logo sits on a sign outside an Ulster Bank branch, a unit of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS), in Dublin, Ireland, on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013.
A logo sits on a sign outside an Ulster Bank branch, a unit of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS), in Dublin, Ireland, on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013.

Operating profits at Ulster Bank fell by €244m last year down to €362m, representing a fall of 40.26pc when compared with 2014.

In the company's full year results published this morning total income in the bank jumped to €758m from €749m in 2014.

The bank's operating expenses also rose to €590m from €523m in the previous year.

Impairment releases fell in 2015, down to €194m from €380m.

Speaking about the results Ulster Bank chief executive, Paul Stanley, described 2015 as a "solid year for the bank".

“2015 has been another solid year for Ulster Bank with an operating profit of €362m representing two years in profit for the Bank in the Republic of Ireland.

"Expenses increased due to higher pension, litigation and regulatory charges coupled with the impact of a weakening euro on our sterling cost base. Further cost savings were delivered in 2015 reflecting our ongoing cost reduction programme," he said.

The Ulster Bank chief continued, saying that it had gotten off to a good start to 2016 at that the bank has the support of its parent, Royal Bank of Scotland.

UK-backed Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) on Friday reported its eighth straight full-year loss of 1.97 billion pounds ($2.75 billion), as it continues to be weighed down by restructuring and litigation costs.

The loss narrowed by 43 percent from a of 3.47 billion pounds for the previous year.

RBS, which has not turned a profit since its 2008 government bailout during the financial crisis, said its restructuring costs reached 2.9 billion pounds. Its conduct and litigation costs totalled 3.6 billion pounds.

Once, briefly, the world's largest bank by assets, RBS has spent the eight years since its 45-billion-pound bailout cutting costs and reorganising its businesses.

Under Chief Executive Ross McEwan's leadership, RBS has also been reducing its international business, abandoning the global ambitions it once held.

RBS is still 73 percent owned by the British government.

"We are looking to take another 800 million pounds from our cost base," Chief Executive Ross McEwan said. "This is an area where we must continue to be disciplined given the uncertain macroeconomic and low interest rate environment our core businesses face."

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