Danske Bank's profits rise on back of surge in mortgage lending

Gary McDonald Business Editor

DANSKE Bank in Northern Ireland made a profit before tax of £147.5 million in 2017 - up from £117m a year earlier.

And despite the benign economic conditions, it still lifted its total income from £228.9m to £230.9m.

The bank's lending also soared by 9 per cent, largely driven by increased mortgage lending, reflecting a renewed confidence in the housing market.

Indeed Danske's mortgage market activity share has more than doubled since 2015 according to the bank's regional chief executive Kevin Kingston.

He said: “Restructuring and organisational change helped strengthen the results, but at the core was an improved underlying business performance. Lending balances are up 9 per cent year-on-year and deposit growth has also been marked, rising by 5 per cent.

“Last year was again strong for our mortgage business, where there was a 28 per cent increase in new mortgage lending year-on-year."

He added: “In the small business sector, we completed a programme of relocating our small business advisers back into key branches throughout Northern Ireland.

"This decision was taken as a result of strong feedback from small businesses and it has allowed our people to be more accessible and closer to customers. These changes have made a tangible impact, with an average of 37 new small business relationships being established every week.

“Lending to medium to larger-sized businesses was also up, 3 per cent higher year-on-year, and the corporate sector in particular remained buoyant, despite ongoing economic uncertainty as a result of the EU referendum."

The Danish-owned financial institute operates 44 branches and three regional business centres in Northern Ireland, where it employs 1,400 staff serving personal, business and corporate customers.

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