Northern Ireland

Danske Northern Ireland makes £92m loss

Danske Bank's NI operation made a loss of £92m in 2012, due to having to write off £156m in bad debts.

The day-to-day running of the bank saw an increase in profit, but that was wiped out by having to set aside so much to cover the bad debts.

The non-performing loans are mostly due to the property crash, with Danske writing them off gradually since 2009.

The bank's chief executive (UK/Ireland) Gerry Mallon said he did not expect to see the bank return to profit in 2013.

However, he was hopeful to be in the black by 2014-15.

Last year's huge losses are a £100m improvement on the losses in 2011, so Mr Mallon believes the bank is moving in the right direction.

"I am pleased with these results, which show that we are firmly on track towards our goal of returning to profitability. It was a momentous year for us and yet also one which continued to be challenging given prevailing economic conditions," he said.

2012 was the year that Northern Bank rebranded itself as Danske, the name as its Danish parent company.

That overarching firm, which has operations across Europe, has said it has had its best year since 2007, making more than 1bn euros (£860m), in profit.

Those significant reserves in Denmark are covering the substantial losses still being made by their operations in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

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