Banking despair

Published Thursday, 23 February 2012
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RBS must be in despair over the Ulster Bank whose results have just been published.

These figures which of course refer to the bank's overall operations across the island show operating profit down and write offs up.

Both clearly going in the wrong direction. But the bad news is not confined to those two issues.

The overall loss for 2011 is just over a billion pounds - a third up on the previous year.

The numbers show the write down dwarfing the operating profit by a ratio of around four to one.

Bizarrely, the bank says 2011 was a difficult year due to the "continued challenging economic environment".

I suspect that most commentators would say the problems were largely of the bank's making.

Bad loans to property developers and others.

The current economic environment does explain why income from lending is down on last year but that development is only a relatively minor part of the story about why the losses continue to be enormous.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Loretta Strong in Belfast wrote (949 days ago):
Re: your interview with the Ulster Bank Manager promising to have banks opened every day to help and assist their customers and oh, how sorry he was. Not as sorry as me and other people in the company I work for. My employer is an Ulster Bank customer and our wages are paid by Banklink. For all of us non Ulster Bank A/C holders,that means that we get no wages, are unable to meet our commitments and have no access to getting cash from the Ulster Bank over the counter. The knock-on effect of their mess-up is not being reported fully, our employees (unless Ulster Bank A/C holders) have been left without money. On phong the Bank you get the standard line, 'oh most Banks are working with us and will help you out, phone your Bank'. This is nonsense - a colleague had to arrange a temporary over-draft with her Bank. We are disgusted!
Paul McCaw in Belfast wrote (1,073 days ago):
....but I bet some in Ulster bank will still get a bonus for doing little else other than turning up for work. I thought that was what they get normal pay for...turning up to work. If NAMA throws a few more properties on the market then we will really see a fire sale on property which in return, will write down MORE Ulster bank assets and that will show more losses next financial reporting time.
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Jamie Delargy
Jamie Delargy

Jamie Delargy is UTV's Business Editor with a keen eye on local and global economic issues.

A Cambridge Philosophy graduate, Jamie had a brief spell in teaching before launching his career in journalism. In his spare time he enjoys a spot of tennis and is an avid reader.

His favourite saying is "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."

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