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Ulster Bank's headquarters at the IFSC. The bank lost €378m between January and June, according to new figures from its parent RBS.

Ulster Bank follows AIB in posting massive losses

The RBS-owned bank lost €378m in the first six months of 2010.

THE BRITISH OWNER of Ulster Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, has recorded a pre-tax profit of €1.37 billion for the first six months of the year – but has seen losses in its Irish operations rise massively.

Ulster Bank reported operating profits of €223m for the first six months of the year but wrote off a massive €601m in impaired loans to record an operating loss of  €378m for the combined first and second quarters.

By comparison, its operating losses for the same six months were €9.6m while its provision for impaired loans was €189m.

Although the day-to-day business is still in significant profit, the bank’s earnings are obliterated by the volume of its loans which it believes it won’t ever receive back.

The results come just two days after AIB announced similarly impaired results, having lost €963m in loans transferred to NAMA and seeing massive losses on loans written off as it posted a €2bn pre-tax loss for the first six months.

They also come a week after the bank – along with Anglo Irish Bank – moved to take control of the Arnotts department store, which is believed to owe Ulster Bank up to €144m.

Releasing the results, the bank said that economic conditions remained challenging with its customers’ credit quality being hit by the continued pressure on property prices.

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