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Ulster Bank reports quarterly operating loss of £242m

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Ulster Bank chief executive Jim Brown

Ulster Bank chief executive Jim Brown

Ulster Bank chief executive Jim Brown

ULSTER Bank has reported an operating loss of £242m (€310m) for the quarter ended September with high levels of mortgage arrears.

The bank, which is owned by RBS, said the costs related to its IT glitch earlier this year has risen to £82m.

According to the bank, profits before impairment charges were £87m.

And customers are still feeling the pinch the current economic climate.

"We continue to work with our customers who are in financial difficulty on an individual basis to offer them appropriate support initiatives,” Ulster Bank chief executive Jim Brown said.

“We also continue to actively encourage our customers to contact us if they have any concerns about their financial health or are experiencing financial difficulty."

He added the bank is seeing “elevated” numbers of mortgage arrears.

Ulster Bank parent RBS said it took an extra £400m hit in the third quarter to cover the cost of payment protection insurance mis-selling, bringing its total bill to £1.7bn.

The cost of dealing with the fallout of the computer glitch that locked many RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank customers out of their accounts also rose by £50m to £175m.

The mounting provisions came as the bank, which has 30 million customers worldwide, unveiled a pre-tax loss of £1.3bn compared to a £2bn profit in the same period last year.

Ulster Bank's operating loss was £242m - a slight reduction on the previous report.