4. Bank of Ireland UK
- Managing director NI: Ian Sheppard
- Pre-tax profit: £69m
- Employment: 900
- Pay bill: Not stated
Bank of Ireland reported a £16m increase in the underlying profit of its Northern Ireland business to £69m during 2018.
That was despite its income dipping from £147m to £145m last year. Its local operation includes 28 branches and six business centres, serving around 300,000 customers.
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The group’s latest annual report said the 30% increase in the underlying profit of its business here was due to “consistent margin management and cost control, along with net impairment gains during 2018”. Bank of Ireland’s NI commercial lending portfolio decreased by £100m to £1.2bn last year.
The lender said it set up consumer and business direct teams here during 2018, allowing customers to obtain borrowing facilities through a locally based telephone channel. But it also warned that the absence of a functioning Executive could alter the long-term growth of the economy.
Summarising last year’s performance, the report said: “The franchise business in Northern Ireland had a solid 2018 in an otherwise mixed year for the regional economy.
“The local housing and labour markets remained steady, boosting the demand for mortgages and helping annual gross lending in the market to recover.
“After a difficult decade, the rate of housebuilding is accelerating gradually again with the number of “starts” rising to its highest level since 2007.”
Bank of Ireland NI
1 Donegall Square South
Tel: 028 9043 3420