Business Irish

Wednesday 24 January 2018

BoI posts losses of almost €3bn

Bank of Ireland has revealed losses of almost €3bn for the nine months to the end of last year.

In its preliminary results, chief executive Richie Boucher said the bank was hit with an impairment charge of just over €4bn on its loan assets.

More than half of these were loans being shifted to Ireland's state "bad bank", the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA).

Mr Boucher said Bank of Ireland had an underlying operating profit of €1.05bn for the nine months to the end of December - before the impairment charges were applied.

The figure has nosedived 28pc on the same period the year before.

Once the impairment charges were taken into consideration, the bank suffered pre-tax losses of €1.813bn or an underlying pre-tax loss of €2.972bn.

Mr Boucher said trading conditions were "very difficult" last year as the economy worsened in the bank's core markets, Ireland and the UK, as well as globally.

"With hindsight, it is clear that the bank's growth ambitions in previous years had been framed against an overly optimistic view of the outlook for the Irish economy and it was too exposed to the property sector and too reliant on wholesale funding," he said.

"Consequently the group was particularly affected by the severe economic downturn of the last two years in the Irish market compounded by the worst turmoil global financial markets had experienced since the 1930s."

Mr Boucher confirmed Bank of Ireland will transfer around €12.2bn of "toxic" loans to NAMA over the coming year - about €3bn less than initially expected.

The bank cut its costs by 11pc in the last nine months of last year, and it will remain focused on driving costs down as it prepares for the end of the bank deposit guarantee scheme in September, according to the chief executive.

Press Association

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