Permanent TSB's chairman has said the bank is aiming to improve its lending levels by up to nine times more this year than in 2012.

Addressing the bank's AGM today, Alan Cook said that Permanent TSB is again competing for mortgage business, car and educational loans, and current accounts.

Mr Cook said the group's ''Bank plus Two Strategy'' shows it is making ''real progress'' in addressing its problems.

The first of three distinct businesses will be a ''viable, efficient and profitable bank'' that can lend money and compete with the bigger banks here.

Two special business units have also been created in the group - the asset management unit for distressed loans, and a non-core unit.

''It has been another very challenging year for the Irish economy in general and for this company, along with many others,'' Mr Cook told the AGM.

''But it has been one during which we have made real progress in addressing our problems and taking decisive action to help the position of our customers and the position of the taxpayer, who has invested so heavily in our business and whose support has been critical to us over the past number of years,'' he added.