Bank of Ire­land UK Man­ag­ing direc­tor NI: Ian Shep­pard

Belfast Telegraph - Top 100 Northern Ireland Companies - - ENTRIES 1-20 PROFILED -

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.

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.”

Pre-tax profit: £69m

Em­ploy­ment: 900

Pay bill: Not stated

1 Done­gall Square South Belfast BT1 5LR Tel: 028 9043 3420 www.bankofire­

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