Danske Bank reports profits rise for first quarter 2019

Profit before tax was higher for Q1 2019, reflecting net impairment recoveries compared to a net charge in Q1 2018
Profit before tax was higher for Q1 2019, reflecting net impairment recoveries compared to a net charge in Q1 2018
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Danske Bank has reported a profit before impairments of £23.1 million for the first quarter of 2019 as lending volumes rose by 8% over Q1 last year and deposits grew by 6%.

Amid ongoing concerns about Brexit, the bank said businesses remained keen to invest in growth though many had shelved development plans for the meantime.

Total income for the period was 3% higher reflecting the growth in lending and deposits, and higher UK interest rates.

There was a 3% increase in profit before impairment charges.

Profit before tax was significantly higher year-on-year, reflecting net impairment recoveries for the quarter compared to a net charge in the same period last year.

“I am pleased to report an operating profit of £23.1 million for the first quarter of 2019,” said Danske UK CEO Kevin Kingston.

“The underlying performance of the Bank continues to be strong, with lending volumes up 8% year-on-year.

“In Personal Banking, we have seen a 4% uplift in new mortgage lending compared to the same period last year.

“Our mortgage product proposition was further improved during the quarter with an increased cash back offer to encourage more switchers.

“Lending in business banking is up 8% year-on-year, as we continue to focus on improving already high levels of customer satisfaction.”

While some businesses continued to pursue their growth ambitions, Mr Kingston said others wanted to extend their facilities to prepare any potential challenges associated with Brexit.

“In the corporate segment lending is down compared to the same period last year, with the heightened uncertainty around Brexit during quarter one persuading some of our larger customers to delay planned investments until later in the year,” he said.

Referring to the increasingly pressing issue of fraud and cyber crime, he said a new team based in Belfast was tackling card, ATM, cheque and payment fraud.

“All banks are seeing a rise in attacks, with people tricked into revealing personal details or having their information stolen.

“We believe it is essential for our customers to understand the risks and be able to talk directly to experts if they are targeted by a scam,” he said.