Danske Bank posts 40% profits hike as pre-tax tally hits £140m

More confidence among consumers and businesses has contributed to Danske's latest healthy figures
More confidence among consumers and businesses has contributed to Danske's latest healthy figures

Danske Bank made pre-tax profits of £140 million in the province last year as it revealed lending to large corporate customers was back to pre-recession levels.

The near-40% profits increase on last year was attributed to improved revenue, control of costs and better performance surrounding losses on loans.

Total income increased to £218 million and the value of loans and deposits rose last year, a report from Danske said.

The bank, formerly Northern Bank, is one of the largest in Northern Ireland.

The figures show a ‘write back’ of £55m during 2015 indicating the return of a sum set aside to cover prospective losses on bad loans that was not required.

“I am delighted to report a strong set of results for 2015, with continued improvement in profitability,” said Danske Bank UK chief executive Kevin Kingston delivering his first set fo results since succeeding for CEO Gerry Mallon.

“The results reflect improvement in our revenue performance, ongoing cost control and impairment recoveries.

“It is also pleasing that we have delivered such results against the backdrop of what is still a recovering economy.”

He said the shift towards digital banking continued apace.

“By the end of the year, we were seeing over three million monthly digital log-ons via eBanking, mobile and tablet banking.

“Five years after we first launched our mobile banking app, eight out of 10 digital banking customers are now using mobile banking to check and manage their accounts and in a recent survey 99% of customers said they would recommend our apps.”

“Danske Bank’s strong financial performanceandposition in the marketplaceis a key indicator that we are well placed to help personal customersand businessestoprosperin2016 and beyond. And we have some exciting new initiativesahead for our customers, such as our recently launchedmortgage campaign, whichoffers one of the biggest cash incentives we have ever had. The bank attracted a significant number of new SME businesses and total lending in that area increased substantially.

Among larger corporate businesses, lending was back to pre-recession levels, with demand being strongest in the first half of the year, the report said.

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