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Ulster Bank has lost €387 million so far this year

Mortgage arrears of over 90 days have fallen quarter-on-quarter for the first time since June 2008 at Ulster Bank, but the bank’s chief executive warned customers not to ignore their problems.

Ulster Bank CEO Jim Brown
Ulster Bank CEO Jim Brown
Image: Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland

JIM BROWN, THE chief executive of Ulster Bank, has said that the bank is making progress on restructuring after posting a loss of €387 million in the first half of 2013.

The losses are down €288 million on the first half of 2012. This, the bank says, is because of a 30 per cent drop in impairment losses, which fell from €872 million to €591 million.

Total income is up €18 million to €529 million while customer deposits increased by 8 per cent. Loan balances decreased by per cent due to ‘low levels of demand coupled with amortisation as customers reduce their debt levels’.

Mortgages in arrears of 90 days or more fell between quarter 1 and quarter 2, the first quarter-on-quarter fall since June 2008, but the bank said that many customers are ignoring the problem.

“We continue to see large numbers of customers who are not engaging with us,” said Brown.

“Our core objective remains to keep as many cooperating customers in their homes as possible and we encourage customers in financial difficulty to engage with us to find the right solution. We expect to see an increase in legal activity where the customer still does not engage.”

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Brown said that the results showed that the bank’s plan to restructure it’s core bank was working.

“We continue to remain focused on the recovery of our business – supporting the communities in which we operate and serving the needs of our 1.9 million customers across the island of Ireland,” he said.

Read: Bank of Ireland loses €504 million in the first six months of 2013
Read: AIB posts half-year loss of €572 million

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