Tuesday 21 May 2019

Lending grows, operating expenses decline at Bank of Ireland

Bank of Ireland. Photo: Bloomberg
Bank of Ireland. Photo: Bloomberg
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Bank of Ireland has reported an increase in customer lending in the three months to 31 March 2019.

Customer loan volumes were €79.1bn at the end of March, an increase of €2.1bn since the end of December 2018, or €600m on a constant currency basis.

This was primarily driven by corporate lending and retail UK.

Meanwhile, operating expenses fell by 3.5pc when compared to the same period last year, according to a trading update from the bank.

Bank of Ireland’s net interest margin for the period – a key barometer of a banks profitability – fell to 2.1pc from 2.2pc at the end of 2018.

Customer deposits were €79.7bn at the end of March (€78.7bn on a constant currency basis), from €78.9bn at December 2018.

However, in a note analysts at Davy Stockbrokers said the bank’s mortgage market share for the three month period was “weak” at 23pc.

“But activity levels on drawdowns and approvals increased as the quarter progressed, indicating that a recovery back to the target share range of 25-30pc should occur over the remainder of the year,” analysts said.

For the small business sector, where subdued levels of activity have been reported over the past 18 months, there was an increase in “activity, confidence and credit demand” the bank said, with “positive momentum” continuing in the second quarter of 2019.

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