Bank of Ireland profits surge to €642m as impairments fall
Bank of Ireland now faces "the same challenges as any other business" in the clearest sign yet that the lender has put the crisis behind it.
The bank saw half-year net profits increase 80pc to €624m - well ahead of expectations and company chief executive Richie Boucher made clear his firm was now in growth mode.
"Our challeneges are what every other business faces: keep the customers happy and keep the staff happy," he said.
The half-year profit compared to €344m a year earlier and came on the back of revenues of €1.76bn.
Profits were driven in part by a sale of government bonds worth €171m, while defaulted loans fell by 27pc.
Importantly, the bank cut its impairment charges against customer loans from €444m to €168m.
Importantly, Bank of Ireland increased its Common Equity Tier 1 ratio - a key measure of the bank's financial strength - to 11.1pc from 9.3pc at the end of last year.
Bank of Ireland has nearly three million customers in the UK through its tie-in with the Post Office there, but Mr Boucher said he felt the firm was well insulated from a potential 'Brexit' as that business was effectively a standalone entity and was funded in sterling. "The strength and momentum in our businesses gives us confidence in our ability to continue to meet the needs of our customers," the chief executive added.
Davy Stockbrokers' Diarmuid Sheridan was pleased with the numbers.
"Augmenting the capital generation [and] momentum on new business volumes across its main markets, together with a lowering of impairment charges as it sees the benefits of restructuring and the economic environment," he said.
Shares in the bank rose 1.3pc.