Northern Ireland

Danske Bank Northern Ireland report pre-tax profits of £117m

Danske Bank Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Danske Bank in Northern Ireland will become a standalone business unit next year

Danske Bank in Northern Ireland has reported pre-tax profits of £117m for 2016.

That is down on the £142m achieved in 2015, though the 2015 performance included a large 'write back' of impairment charges.

A write back means money that had been set aside to cover expected loan losses can now be released.

Excluding write backs, the bank's underlying profit was up from £87m to £91m.

That was achieved on turnover of £229m.

The bank's chief executive, Kevin Kingston, said the results had been achieved against a backdrop of slow growth in the local economy.

He said Brexit uncertainty had been a factor among corporate customers in the second half of the year.

"While customers were not cancelling projects they were also not bringing new projects to us at the same rate, and overall demand was more subdued."

The bank saw continuing improvement in the mortgage market with the number of approvals almost doubling across the year.

The bank's Danish parent company increased its profit by 12% to 2.7bn euro.

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