Ulster Bank swings into profit in 2018
Ulster Bank has reported an operating profit of €15m for 2018.
This is a swing on the loss of €151m in 2017, according to full year results from the bank.
Total income was in line with prior year at €689m, while the bank’s operating expenses reduced to €657m from €772m in 2017.
Meanwhile there was a 13pc increase in new mortgage lending to €1.13bn
The bank’s net interest margin - a key barometer for measuring the profitability of banks – improved by 12 basis points to 1.79pc, driven by a funding benefit, improving asset mix and lower cost of deposits.
There was a €3.8bn or 18.8pc reduction in risk weighted assets.
In the final quarter of 2018 Ulster Bank completed a sale of a portfolio of non-performing loans, reducing its non-performing loan ratio to 11.3pc.
Ulster Bank CEO Jane Howard said:
"In 2018, we made tangible progress on our priorities to build a simpler, safer and more customer focused bank."
"Today we report a modest profit of €15m which is underpinned by a significant improvement in net interest margin, reduction in our non performing loan ratio, increased customer deposits and new mortgage lending growth."
"In 2018 we also paid a dividend of €1.5bn to our shareholder and raised €1bn of stable funding through the issuance of mortgage backed bonds."
Elsewhere and Ulster Bank owner RBS has reported a profit of £1.6bn (€1.8bn) for 2018.