| 11.1°C Belfast

Coronavirus sees Danske Bank profits plummet and lending double

Close

Danske Bank said the outlook for 2020 was "challenging".

Danske Bank said the outlook for 2020 was "challenging".

Danske Bank said the outlook for 2020 was "challenging".

Pre-tax profits at Danske Bank from January to March dropped from £24.7m to £1.4m as the bank made allowances for customer financial difficulties due to coronavirus.

Business lending has doubled on the same time last year, with the bank lending out £120m in coronavirus-related business support loans.

The bank said it had granted 4,500 mortgage payment holidays to customers since the crisis.

Chief executive Kevin Kingston said: “I feel passionately that Danske Bank’s role is to be a force for good both now and throughout the challenges ahead.”

However, coronavirus interruption and low interest rates had contributed to a 4% fall in income to £55.7m during the first quarter of 2020.

Operating profit at the lender was also down 9% to £21m, compared to £23.1m the first quarter of 2019.

But loan impairments - the amount set aside to cover bad loans - of £19.7m led to pre-tax profits of £1.4m.

The bank said: “The economic outlook for 2020 is challenging and this is reflected in the provision for higher loan impairments, which allows for the expectation that a greater number of customers will experience financial difficulties in the months ahead.

“As a result of the above, both operating profit and profit before tax have fallen compared to the same period last year.

“Danske Bank maintains a very strong funding, liquidity and capital position and will use this capacity to support both personal and business customers through the current challenging times.”

Belfast Telegraph