Bank of Ireland chief says the economy is showing positive signs, but banks will feel the brunt
In its half-year report, Bank of Ireland announced a 669 million euro ($790 million) loss before tax, after it took an impairment charge of 937 million euros ($1.1 billion) to cover loan losses during the pandemic.At the start of lockdown, Bank of Ireland and other major banks agreed to payment breaks for some customers. McDonagh said around 10% of Bank of Ireland's customers had taken a payment break since lockdown in March.
"Many of those customers have come off and resumed normal credit and interest repayment, but our focus in the latter part of this year as people come off their final payment break is to work with our customers," she said."We had the lowest non-performing exposure ratio of any Irish bank before Covid, of working with customers to find sustainable solutions, and that's where our focus will be."
There is still uncertainty on any future outlook, she added, with Brexit presenting "additional uncertainty" that may create further challenges ahead.Cost cuttingBank of Ireland recently revamped its charges and now charges a flat fee of six euros per month for current account customers, regardless of how much they have with the bank.
At the same time, it is doing away with a bunch of other charges like contactless fees and ATM fees. It also remains in the midst of an investment strategy in technology to improve its digital services."The focus on technology was already there before Covid, but the trends and changes amongst our customers are only going to accelerate that," McDonagh said.
This investment aside, Bank of Ireland is continuing to look at cutting costs elsewhere. When announcing its half-year results, the bank said it plans to cut 1,400 jobs from its workforce.It is the latest in a line of Irish banks to embark on cost cutting measures. On Thursday, The Irish Times reported that NatWest was considering closing down Ulster Bank's operations in Ireland, just a week after the bank said it intended to let 266 workers go. Natwest declined to comment when contact by CNBC Friday.
KBC, meanwhile, said that it was shutting four of its 16 branches around the country.Consolidation in the sectorShould Ulster Bank exit the Irish market, it would narrow the field in Ireland's banking sector to just a few players. Read more: CNBC »
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Federal Reserve weighs bank dividends as it prepares second stress testThe U.S. Federal Reserve said on Thursday it would decide by the end of September if it would continue capping bank dividend payments and laid out two hypothetical severe recessions it will use to test further big bank resilience amid the coronavirus pandemic. All news Australian ABC NEWS SBS news 7newsThis question the are pew. ♥i cry for independents freedom's. Dear your life are very important. govts Let society be free. rights are very important, and when we all have rights everything will be ok.♥
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Bank of England looks harder at negative rates in case troubles deepenThe Bank of England said it was looking more closely at how it might cut interest rates below zero as Britain's economy faces a triple whammy of rising COVID-19 cases, higher unemployment and a possible new Brexit shock. It's a called a depression. All banks need to be put in moritorium. Freeze it all or ur going to lose it all. This is a depression. Ur literally trying to resuscitate a dead guy with CPR and were watching just with our mouths wide open in disbelief that we trusted capitalism. The economy is going to fail you in one way or another. Leave this system and discover a whole new world! 'below zero'!?!?!?!?
Bank of England negative rates talk knocks 0.6% off sterlingThe pound fell around 0.6% against the dollar and euro on Thursday after the Bank of England said it had been briefed on how a negative interest rate could be implemented effectively, should it be needed. 😱
Citing ‘unusually uncertain outlook,’ Bank of England keeps powder dry while discussing negative ratesThe Bank of England on Thursday unanimously decided to keep interest rates and its bond purchase program unchanged, giving the central bank two more months... That's because of racism.
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