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Northern Bank records £90m losses

Northern Bank has recorded pre-tax losses of more than £90 million in the first six months of the year.

The bank was again rocked by costs associated with bad debts, absorbing around £112 million in so-called loan impairment charges.

It would have made a profit of £27.5 million if it was not for those charges and an additional £6 million set aside for potential payouts associated with payment protection insurance (PPI) claims.

The bank's Danish owner, Danske Bank, recorded healthier results, with profits up 14% to £433 million.

Northern Bank chief executive Gerry Mallon said the mid-year performance was as expected.

"Challenging market conditions - notably in property - make it necessary to maintain our prudent policy of making very aggressive provision for potential bad debts," he said.

"Given the ongoing deterioration in the ability of some customers to repay borrowing, we maintain our outlook for elevated impairments for the rest of this year."

He added: "The first half of 2011 is characterised by a backdrop of still-uncertain economic conditions against which we have taken some difficult decisions as well as making substantial commitments to economic recovery.

"Progress towards that recovery and stability is in the interests of all consumers and businesses and we remain committed to playing our part."

Press Association

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