Business Irish

Thursday 2 October 2014

Ulster Bank reports first half profit of $69m

Ailish O'Hora

Published 01/08/2014 | 08:45

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Ulster Bank chief executive Jim Brown

ULSTER Bank has reported an adjusted operating profits of £69m (€84m) for the first half of the year.

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The bank said the figures were boosted by improvements in impairment losses and net interest margin as well as a reduction in expenses.

The net interest margin improved by 50bps to 2.32pc and net interest income has increased by £21m (€26m) while impairment losses were reduced by £446m (€543m).

Commenting on the results, Jim Brown, chief executive said:

“Today’s results demonstrate a second consecutive quarterly profit, the success of our existing strategy and sustained progress across all areas of the Bank.

"In total, the number of customers in arrears in the Republic of Ireland has reduced by 10,000 compared to the same point in 2012."

Meanwhile, Ulster Bank's parent, the part-nationalised British lender Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) said it had placed restrictions on its lending in Russia following developments in Ukraine.

The European Union cut off financing for five major Russian banks on Thursday over Moscow's support for separatist rebels in Ukraine. The measures aim to prevent Russian banks from raising money on Western capital markets.

RBS said it had reviewed credit ratings, adjusted lending limits and placed additional credit restrictions on new business in Russia. It is also reviewing how it is exposed to the international sanctions.

RBS, which is 81pc owned by the British government, said it had reduced lending in Russia during the first half of this year by 100 million pounds to 1.8 billion pounds. That included 900 million pounds of corporate lending and 600 million of lending to banks.





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