Danske Bank profits drop 37% during pandemic

Danske Bank profits in Northern Ireland fell 37% to £ 45.9million in the first nine months of the year as Covid-19 wreaks havoc.

The bank said it has also made an additional allowance for bad debts as it anticipates more customers will experience financial hardship.

But he added that the pandemic had led some personal and business customers to repay their debts and increase their savings, with deposits growing 23% year on year.

Mortgages had been strong after the housing market reopened after the spring shutdown, but the bank predicted they would return to more modest levels.

And loan mix has increased due to “unprecedented” levels of support given to clients, mainly through government-guaranteed loans such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL) program.

It granted 5,000 mortgage holidays to clients in difficulty, as well as 675 holidays for the repayment of credit cards and personal loans.

And he said the bank would continue to support its customers and maintain “a strong funding, liquidity and capital position.”

Managing Director Kevin Kingston said: “Like so many of our customers, the bank is not immune to the business impacts of the pandemic.

“Revenue and profits are drastically reduced year over year due to the impacts of the coronavirus, the subsequent allowance for potential write-downs on future loans and historically low interest rates.

“Our main focus remains to support our customers and take care of our colleagues, who, as key workers, have continued to provide the levels of service that the people of Northern Ireland have come to expect from Danske Bank.”

He said he had approved more than £ 450m in coronavirus-related business support loans since March, including more than £ 370m provided through CBILs and the Bounce Back loan program.

Mr Kingston added: “The disruption of the coronavirus in our economy is expected to continue for longer than we all hoped.

Next to that, Brexit uncertainty still prevails, with less than two months before the end of the transition period on January 1 and Northern Ireland’s trade relations with the rest of the UK are changing.

“As the largest bank in Northern Ireland, rest assured that Danske Bank has the commitment and ability to continue to support customers, the community and the wider economy in these troubled times.”

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