Northern Ireland

Allied Irish Banks: Parent company of NI bank, First Trust, makes 1.5bn profit

First Trust branch in Newry
Image caption First Trust is one of the so-called 'big four' banks in Northern Ireland but it is a wholly owned subsidiary of Allied Irish Bank (AIB)

Allied Irish Banks (AIB), the parent company of First Trust Bank, made a profit of 1.9bn euros (£1.5bn) in 2015.

The performance of AIB, which is still owned by the Irish state, included a 'write-back' of 925m euros (£716m) previously set aside to cover bad loans.

The UK division of bank, which contains First Trust, made an operating profit of £166m compared to £67m in 2014.

First Trust is one of the so-called 'big four' banks in Northern Ireland.

It operates 30 branches.

It contributed £47m to AIB's UK profit, with £87m from the business in Great Britain and £32m in write-backs.

The bank said the Republic of Ireland's projected economic growth of 5% for next year will continue to provide a positive domestic environment for its business.

It added that the prospect of the UK leaving the European Union after the planned referendum on British membership in June is "fraught with economic uncertainty and the full impact cannot be predicted".

EU referendum: All you need to know

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