Business Irish

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Ulster Bank reports significant decrease in loan losses

Published 02/05/2014 | 07:22

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Ulster Bank
Ulster Bank

Ulster Bank has made its first profit in five years thanks to a significant decrease in losses linked to loans in Ireland, the bank's parent group said this morning.

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Loan losses in the first three months of the year tumbled 80pc, Royal Bank of Scotland said today.

Earlier today, the Irish Independent reported that Royal Bank of Scotland wants to sell shares in Ulster Bank on the stock exchange. Ulster Bank reported aN operating profit of £17m (€21m) for The first quarter, the first quarterly profit since The same quarter in 2009.

The bank said underlying  expenses have reduced but the creation of a new credit recovery division coupled with the impact of the new bank levy introduced by Finance Minister Michael Noonan has resulted in a £10m (€12m)  increase to headline expenses.

“Today’s results show Ulster Bank returning to profitability for the first time since Quarter 1 2009, reflecting the progress across all areas of the Bank," Ulster a Bank boss Jim Brown said. " The operating profit of £17m (€21m)  is driven by stable revenues, a reduction of underlying expenses and an improvement in impairment losses."

Ulster Bank parent Royal Bank of Scotland trebled its profit in the first quarter, benefiting from improved cost control and a reduction in impairment costs.

The bank, which is 81 percent-owned by the British government, reported an attributable profit of £1.2bnonly the sixth time it has reported a quarterly profit since its £45bn government rescue during the 2008 financial crisis.

The bank posted an £8.2 billion pound pretax loss in 2013 due to restructuring costs and misconduct charges, taking the total it has lost since the bailout to £46bn.

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