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Lending increases at Bank of Ireland despite 'Brexit uncertainty'

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Francesca McDonagh CEO of Bank of Ireland

Francesca McDonagh CEO of Bank of Ireland

Francesca McDonagh CEO of Bank of Ireland

Bank of Ireland has reported growth in lending of €1.5bn in the nine months to 30 September. This was €800m higher than the same period last year.

Customer loan volumes were €78bn at the end of September, an increase of €1bn since the end of December 2018.

The group's market share of new mortgage lending in Ireland averaged at around 23pc in the first eight months of 2019 with "strong positive momentum" in market share of mortgage applications during the quarter.

However, in a trading update, the bank said lending to small and medium businesses had been impacted by Brexit uncertainty.

Despite this, economic growth in the core markets of Ireland and the UK "remained positive" notwithstanding the continued uncertainties related to the UK's decision to leave the European Union.

The bank's net interest margin - a key barometer of profitability of banks – was 2.15pc, which it said reflected stable loan asset spreads offset by lower interest rates.

Meanwhile, Bank of Ireland’s non-performing loans reduced by €400m since the end of June to €3.8bn at 30 September, this is equivalent to an NPL ratio of 4.7pc.

The group, which is on a drive to reduce expenditure, said it made cost reductions of around 3pc compared to the corresponding period in 2018.

"We remain focused on costs and continue to seek further efficiencies," Bank of Ireland said.

Overall, customer deposits totaled €81.8bn at the end of September.

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