Thursday 24 May 2018

Profits fall 66pc at Ulster Bank as the bank sets aside €11m for 'legacy issues'

Photo: PA
Photo: PA
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Ulster Bank has reported a fall in profit of 66pc in the three months to 31 March 2018.

Operating profit was €11m compared to €32m at 31 March 2017.

Total income at the bank decreased by €3m, or 1.8pc, compared with the same period in 2017, according to results released by the groups parent, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

Meanwhile the bank said that it had set aside an €11m provision to deal with "remediation and project costs associated with legacy business issues" in Ireland.

Last week the Irish Independent revealed that Jane Howard, a senior executive at RBS, is expected to be installed as Ulster Bank’s new chief executive.

She'll replace outgoing Ulster Bank CEO Gerry Mallon, who is due to leave the country's third biggest lender in July to become chief executive of Tesco Bank in the UK.

RBS, has reported an operating profit before tax of £1.2bn (€1.4bn) for the three months to 31 March 2018, a 70pc increase on the same period last year.

The overall profit at RBS was £792m, a 206pc increase on the same period last year.

The RBS performance was driven by both an increase in income as well as cost-cutting measures.

During the three month period income increased by £90m, or 2.8pc, compared with the same period last year. Compared with the last quarter of 2017, income increased by £245m, which the bank said largely reflected higher NatWest Markets income.

Meanwhile operating costs at RBS decreased by a massive 18pc or £442m year-on-year.

Excluding strategic and litigation and conduct costs, costs decreased by £39m, or 2.1pc, and FTEs reduced by 7pc.

However, the bank’s net interest margin (NIM) - a key measure of a bank’s health – as 2 basis points lower excluding fourth quarter 2017 one-off items, reflecting competitive pressure, 1 basis point, and IFRS 9 accounting impacts, 1 basis point.

In addition the RBS NIM was 20 basis points lower than the same period in 2017, which the bank said reflected increased liquidity, mix impacts and competitive pressures on margins.

During the period RBS booked £209m in restructuring costs and £19m in costs and litigation.

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