Monday 20 January 2020

Ulster Bank profits slide as mortgage lending soars 47pc

Gerry Mallon new ceo of Ulster Bank in the Republic
Gerry Mallon new ceo of Ulster Bank in the Republic

Michael Cogley

Profits at Ulster Bank have fallen to €155m in the first half of its financial year as the bank's expenses were inflated by an industry-wider examination of tracker mortgages.

The bank reported a profit of €199m in the same period last year but its expenses soared this year due to costs of €118m relating to the examination.

Mortgage drawdowns at the bank soared by 47pc as the bank increased its market share here to 18pc.

The RBS-owned bank posted total income during the period of €377m, up from €368m. Meanwhile operating expenses increased to €402m.

The bank incurred impairment releases of €34m, down from €104m in the same period last year.

Ulster Bank chief executive Gerry Mallon said the institution reported a "strong, consumer-focused" first half.

"Ulster Bank demonstrates a profitable performance with an increase in income, reduction in underlying expenses and significant increase in mortgage lending.  These were offset by a reduction in net impairment releases and a provision in relation to the industry-wide tracker mortgage examination.

“Ulster Bank’s new service-led improvements to customer experience such as mobile mortgage managers and process improvements as well as the introduction of a number of new competitive rates, have seen Ulster Bank increase market share in Q1 to 18pc, with a 47pc increase in mortgage drawdowns to €400m in H1 2016 compared to the same period in 2015," he said.

Ulster Bank parent RBS today reported a £2.04bn loss for the first half of its financial year.

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