PROFITS at the north’s biggest lender Danske Bank soared to almost £49 million in the first three months of 2023.
The Belfast-based bank’s income rose by 56 per cent to £83.7m in the first quarter of the year driven by higher UK interest rates.
The Danish-owned lender also credited “increased transactional activity” and “balance sheet growth” with its first quarter performance.
But the higher interest rate environemtn appears to have had a significant effect on Danske’s profit levels.
Pre-tax profits rose almost three-fold compared to the first quarter of 2022 from £16.7m to £48.9m.
Danske Bank recorded an annual profit-before tax of £63.3m in 2021 and £103.3m last year.
The lender’s UK chief executive Vicky Davies described the results as “strong”.
She said: “A robust financial performance means we are well positioned to continue to support customers when they need us.”
Lending increased by 6 per cent (year-on-year) to £5.8 billion, with deposits 1 per cent to £10.5bn
However, Ms Davies, who became the first female chief executive of Danske Bank UK in its 200-year history in 2021, said the mortgage market in the north is slowing down.
“As the economy has tightened, we have seen the mortgage market slow,” she said.
“We remain mindful that cost of living challenges persist for many customers and across society. “Since launch there have been over 13,000 visits to our ‘Money Worries’ online hub for personal customers and ‘Rising Cost of Doing Business’ online hub for small business customers.
“These hubs offer advice and assistance, including a customer call back service for those who want to talk to one of our specialist advisers.”