Business Irish

Monday 22 January 2018

Ulster Bank reports profit of £245m in year to date, RBS warns on charges

Ulster Bank head offices on George’s Quay, Dublin
Ulster Bank head offices on George’s Quay, Dublin
Ailish O'Hora

Ailish O'Hora

ULSTER Bank has reported an operating profit of €£114m (€157m) for the third quarter or £245m (€337m) so far this year.

The bank said net impairment release in the third quarter was £58m (€80m) compared with the second quarter of 2015 of £52m (€71m)

Ulster Bank Interim Chief Executive Paul Stanley said: “The third quarter of 2015 sees Ulster Bank report an operating profit of £114m (€157m), (£245m/ €337m, year to date). 

"This is underpinned by stronger new business volumes, profit on the sale of a buy-to-let portfolio in the Republic of Ireland and a gain realised on the simplification of our corporate structure.

"The results have also benefited from a further release of impairment provisions, though at lower levels than in some previous quarters."

Meanwhile, its parent Royal Bank of Scotland warned future costs relating to litigation and past misconduct could be substantially higher than expected after reporting a third-quarter loss due to restructuring charges.

RBS, 73 percent owned by the British government, reported a third quarter operating loss of 134 million pounds, down from a profit of 1.1 billion the year before, hit by restructuring and misconduct costs.

"Whilst legacy issues continue to be addressed, material further and incremental costs and provisions in respect of conduct and litigation related matters are expected, and could be substantially greater than the aggregate provisions RBS has recognised," the bank said in a statement.

RBS has already set aside 4.5 billion pounds to cover regulatory and legal actions, including 2.4 billion for litigation.

The bank is facing a number of probes into past misconduct including an investigation by authorities in the United States into claims it misled investors in mortgage-backed securities and an investigation by Britain's financial regulator into its treatment of struggling small firms.

RBS said attributable profit, including a 1.1 billion pound gain relating to the sale of its U.S. business Citizens (CFG.N), rose by 6 percent to 952 million pounds.

The bank's common equity Tier 1 ratio, a key measure of its financial strength, improved by 40 basis points to 12.7 percent and RBS said it would improve further to 16.2 percent following the sale of Citizens. That would make it the most well-capitalised major bank in Britain.

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