Ulster Bank makes pre-tax NI profits of £58m for 2016

Ulster Bank chief in Northern Ireland Richard Donnan
Ulster Bank chief in Northern Ireland Richard Donnan

The Ulster Bank made a pre-tax profit of £58 million in Northern Ireland in 2016 the bank has reported.

Figures available for the first time since the two divisions on either side of the border were separated show that total income rose by 4% to £176m.

The performance was enhanced by a 6% decline in operating costs as well as a writeback of £27m that had been set aside for impairment costs to cover bad debt.

“Today’s results demonstrate that we are a strong, safe and profitable bank that plays an active and leading role in supporting personal and business customers across Northern Ireland in achieving their ambitions,” said Richard Donnan, Ulster Bank chief in Belfast.

“These figures from the bank’s statutory accounts represent the robust underlying performance of the business in Northern Ireland.”

Mr Donnan said the bank’s ambition was to be number one for customer service, trust and advocacy by providing meaningful help for customers.

“We have done that with our customers by supporting some of the largest corporate investments in Northern Ireland in the fields of healthcare, agri-food and hospitality, despite broader uncertainty.

“We are here to underpin the investment in infrastructure and capability that enables our local businesses to thrive. This was further evidenced by the fact that loan drawdowns by small businesses increased by 40% year-on-year.

“We still have work to do to manage our costs in order to grow our business in a sustainable way, but we have made significant progress on that front.”