The chairman of Permanent TSB has said the bank is not in a position to reduce mortgage interest rates for standard variable customers. 

Speaking at the bank’s annual general meeting in Dublin, Alan Cook said PTSB is not yet making money but was nearly profitable.

Last year the bank’s pre-tax loss was €48m; down from €668m in 2013.

Shareholders were told that the bank does need new capital and is looking to raise €525m from private investors.

It said it had been encouraged by the interest shown by international investors. 

However Mr Cook said the cost of borrowing for PTSB remains high and as a result it would not be able to reduce variable interest rates on mortgages.

He added that the bank has been in contact with both the Minister for Finance and the Central Bank about the issue.