Sunday 18 February 2018

Bank of Ireland makes profit of €921m in 2014

Finance Minister Michael Noonan welcomes return to full year profits

Richie Boucher
Richie Boucher
Ailish O'Hora

Ailish O'Hora

BANK of Ireland has posted profit of €921m for 2014, compared with a loss of €570m in 2013.

The bank added on €10bn in new lending in the period it said today.

It reduced defaulted loans by €2.8bn to €14.3bn - that's 22pc below their peak.

But the bank also had a €840m impairment charge in the same period.

"The improvement is right across the business, new lending is also up. Our margins have improved and all our divisions are contributing to the figures," Richie Boucher, Bank of Ireland Group CEO, told RTE.

"We've also had a significant drop in our defaulted loans. House prices have increased too. We're keeping our coverage ratio at about 50pc. What we look at is our customers ability to meet payments."

He said restructures are sticking for a number of reasons and depend on customer circumstances.

He added his appearance at the banking inquiry will focus on his job at the bank. "Our mistakes were not as bad as some others but they were very serious," he said.

Mr Boucher said he is not involved 'for obvious reasons' in an internal team set up my his bank to collect of evidence about the credit bubble for the Inquiry. Around 6,000 documents comprising 25,000 to 30,000 pages have been provided by Bank of Ireland to the investigation.

"Having, to date, returned about €6bn in cash to the Irish taxpayers for their support and €4.8bn investment in Bank of Ireland, we have made further substantial progress against our strategic priorities in 2014," he also said in a statement.

"We have grown our new lending by more than 50pc to €10bn and were the largest lender to the Irish economy last year. We have also generated capital at an accelerated pace and improved  our asset quality. Our progress is reflected in our underlying financial performance, which we improved by almost €1.5bn, with all trading divisions profitable."

Finance Minister Michael Noonan welcomed the bank's return to full-year profitability.

“The strong results announced by Bank of Ireland today are very encouraging. It is significant that Bank of Ireland has now returned to full year profitability, has an impressive capital build, a growth in new lending, and made significant progress in reducing distressed loan balances. BOI also made significant progress in restructuring its mortgages arrears with a total of 4,006 defaulted loans subject to restructuring measures."

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