Bailed-out Bank of Ireland doubles profits

Bank of Ireland group CEO Richie Boucher
Bank of Ireland group CEO Richie Boucher

Bank of Ireland’s profits have doubled as results for the first half of the year showed underlying profits soared to c743 million(£521m) compared to c327m (£230m) for the same period last year.

Key factors in the bailed out lender’s returns include the turnaround in the Irish and UK economies, a cut in the level of impaired loans by c1 billion (£700m), a 50 per cent increase in new lending across the group and an 18 per cent growth in new mortgage business.

The Irish State bailed out Bank of Ireland to the tune of c4.7bn (£3.3bn) and, while it has recouped that, it still holds a 14 per cent stake in the bank which is worth in the region of c1.5bn (£1bn).

Group chief executive Richie Boucher, said part of the bank’s success followed upturns in the Irish and UK economies.

“We have made further good progress against our strategic priorities during the first half of 2015, building on the momentum we have established in recent years,” he said.

“We have grown our new lending by 50 per cent and we continue to be the largest lender to the Irish economy.

“We also generated capital at a significant pace and further improved our asset quality.

“Our progress is reflected in our financial performance and we have more than doubled our underlying profit before tax, compared to the same period last year.

We continue to be confident in the Group’s prospects.”