Friday 23 February 2018

BoI expects EU to order the sale of UK assets

Joe Brennan

BANK of Ireland confirmed yesterday that it is likely to be forced by the European Commission to offload assets to get its state-aid restructuring plan over the line.

The Irish Independent reported last week that Brussels has focused on the group's UK business banking and broker-sourced mortgage book, which the group decided to close to new business at the start of last year.

Speaking at a press conference after the group posted its biggest loss, chief executive Richie Boucher said the sale of "some profitable businesses" would be among the sanctions the bank would have to live with as the EU delivered its verdict on the restructuring plan.

"There's no point in raging against the world and whinging," said Mr Boucher.

However, Mr Boucher made it clear that the group's joint venture with the UK Post Office remained "of very significant strategic importance to us". The venture turned in a net profit of €27m for the nine months to the end of December.

The Post Office partnership has become a very important source of deposits for BoI, rising by 9pc over the nine months to €9bn -- equivalent to 10.5pc of the group's entire deposit base.

Irish Independent

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