Saturday 24 June 2017

Ulster Bank profits hit by costs arising from tracker scandal

Ulster Bank boss Gerry Mallon
Ulster Bank boss Gerry Mallon

Sean Duffy

Ulster Bank’s operating profit in Ireland fell by €338m last year as a result of costs paid to thousands of its customers affected by the tracker mortgage scandal.

The bank posted a profit of just €24m for last year due to an increase in lititgation costs of €229m. The bank also suffred a €56m loss as a result of impairment costs.

Ulster bank said the costs “reflect a provision for remediation and programme costs associated with an industry wide examination of tracker mortgages.”

The bank’s adjusted operating profit fell by 23pc compared to 2015 as a result of the costs.

" We have reported good progress on our work on the Tracker Mortgage Examination as 1,885 customer accounts have been restored to a tracker rate. As previously indicated, we do expect to identify more impacted customers and we are working through this process with the Central Bank as a matter of urgency," Ulster Bank ceo Gerry Mallon said.

"We recognise that these are complex matters and that speed of resolution should not be at the expense of fairness or accuracy," he added.

Non-interest income decreased by €52 million, down 20pc, due to  a one-off €33m gain realised on the closure of a foreign exchange exposure in 2015 and a €13m interim adjustment to the pricing of foreign exchange transactions.

Net loans and advances to customers decreased €0.6bn, while restructuring costs rose by €27m to €48m.

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