Ulster Bank reports return to profit

Ulster Bank reports return to profit

The Ulster Bank has reported a return to profit for the first time in five years.

Figures released by the bank show it made a profit of £17m for the first quarter of 2014.That compares to a loss of almost £1.5bn for the whole of 2013.The profit comes after serious restructuring which involved parent organisation RBS creating of a special division to handle the outstanding toxic debts.The bank said stable revenues, a reduction of expenses and an improvement in losses helped improve the balance book.Ulster Bank chief executive Jim Brown said: "Improving customer demand, our ongoing focus on underlying expenses and the benefits of our work in helping our customers in mortgage arrears will continue to drive the momentum in the recovery of our business."With our renewed focus on customer service and building a really good bank for our customers, we have seen a good response to our campaign for mortgage customers this quarter and a strong pipeline in business lending as a result of the Ahead for Business series of events across Ireland."We are focused on sustaining the recovery of our business which must be built around providing the best customer service on the island of Ireland."The bank has been beset by a number of serious computer problems which have affected customers.In the summer of 2012 a major computer problem saw people unable to access their accounts which saw long queues at branches across Northern Ireland.The bank rolled out a £28m compensation scheme for those out of pocket and apologised.Most recently a technical glitch saw customers charged twice for withdrawals over a 24 hour period during Easter.Again the bank apologised and refunded those customers affected.Ulster Bank's announcement comes a day after the Danske Bank also reported a £17m profit for the first quarter of 2014.


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