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Ulster Bank says it 'won't make money from Covid-19' as losses soar

Bank says that 16,800 personal and business customers have now availed of a payment break

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Covid: Jane Howard, CEO of Ulster Bank

Covid: Jane Howard, CEO of Ulster Bank

Covid: Jane Howard, CEO of Ulster Bank

The scale of Ulster Bank's losses show that the lender is not profiteering from interest on payment breaks offered to help customers cope with the pandemic, CEO Jane Howard told the Irish Independent yesterday.

The bank reported an operating loss of €276m for the first half of the year, largely driven by impairment charges based on an anticipated spike in bad loans.

The loss for the first half is roughly equal to a net impairment charge of €278m for the period, that reflects the lender's assessment of the likely losses that will eventually flow from the pandemic.