Danske Bank puts aside less money for impaired loans in Ireland

Thursday 07 February 2013 19.18
Danske Bank in Ireland sets aside €750m for loan impairment charges
Danske Bank in Ireland sets aside €750m for loan impairment charges

Danske Bank in Ireland has reported an operating loss, before impairment charges, of €2m for 2012.

This compares to an operating profit of €45m in 2011.

The bank said it was setting aside €750m for loan impairment charges, down 12% on 2011.

It said that most of the charges were in its commercial property book and that the quality of its €3.2 billion mortgage book remains ''satisfactory''

Costs at the bank rose by 29% to €124m due to costs associated with the reorganisation of the bank's retail business which it announced last year.

Formerly known as National Irish Bank, the group closed its 27 branches around the country in November.

The bank's customers now use post offices, phone or internet banking, or one of the bank's new small advisory centres to conduct their banking business.

About 100 staff left the bank under a voluntary redundancy scheme because of the branch closures.

Danske Bank in Ireland said that income for the year fell 13% to €122m on the back of low levels of customer demand, while non-interest income rose by 22% to €18m. Pre-tax losses for the year came to €751m compared to €805m in 2011.

''The Bank's performance in 2012 was in line with expectations and reflects Ireland's difficult economic conditions. Impairment levels remain high but are down 12% year on year, and we're satisfied they are moving in the right direction,'' commented Terry Browne, the boss of the bank in Ireland.

''With the international banking and technology strengths of Danske Bank Group, we are well positioned to provide some of the important banking infrastructure needed to help the country's economic recovery,'' he added.

Meanwhile, the Danske Bank Group - Denmark's biggest financial institution - today reported a substantial rise in quarterly pre-tax profits, beating forecasts on the back of a drop in loan impairments.

Profits before tax jumped 103% to €1.149 billion from €566m the previous year. Profits, before impairment charges, rose 21% to €2.8 billion from €2.3 billion in 2011.

Its loan impairment charges for last year fell to €1.679 billin from €1.774 billion in 2011.

The bank said it would not propose a dividend for 2012.