Northern Ireland

Danske Bank Northern Ireland profits rise by 40%

Danske Bank
Image caption The bank's total income was up by 4% from £209m to £218m

Danske Bank in Northern Ireland has reported pre-tax profits of £140m for 2015.

That is up almost 40% compared to the £102m profit achieved in 2014. The 2015 profits included a 'write back' of £55m in impairment charges.

That means money which had been set aside to cover expected loan losses can now be released.

The bank's total income was up by 4% from £209m to £218m.

It said the outcome reflects "a combination of improved revenue performance, ongoing cost control and continuing impairment recoveries".

Danske is one of Northern Ireland's "big four" banks and the first to report its 2015 results.

The chief executive Kevin Kingston said it had been "a very strong year" in terms of business and corporate customers.

He added that among larger corporate businesses, lending was "back to pre-recession levels", with demand being strongest in the first half of the year.

There was increased activity in the commercial property and social housing sectors in particular.

There has been speculation that the Danske Northern Ireland operations could be sold by its Danish parent company.

However, the Danske group chief executive Thomas Borgen said on Tuesday he had "no plans for sale of bank activities in Northern Ireland".

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