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Fall in debts helps AIB

A decline in the number of bad debts and rising property prices helped keep AIB in profit in the nine months to the end of September.

The bailed-out bank said its net interest margin - the difference between what banks pay savers and what they charge borrowers - increased to about 1.64pc from 1.60pc in the first half of the year.

Lending approvals of around €9bn year, including a sharp rise in new mortgages, are almost 40pc ahead of 2013, but the total volume of debt continues to decline.