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Danske Bank announces pre-tax profits of $18.6m in NI

Danish bank Danske has announced it made a pre-tax profit of $18.6 million in Northern Ireland in 2013.

The figures indicate the bank's first annual profit since 2008 and represent a dramatic improvement on the $94 million loss experienced in 2012.

The bank said the reduction in the amount of bad debt write-offs, coupled with an improvement in business performance, helped its return to profit.

However, Thomas Borgen, chief executive of the bank, revealed in the full-year report that the results were still "unsatisfactory".

Danske has shut down a large part of the Irish business and will cut more jobs than the 3,000 already flagged by 2015.

Mr Borgen said Denmark’s biggest lender intends to cut its debt load by as much as $8.2 billion this year in a bid to raise its credit profile.

Overall, Danske Bank reported fourth-quarter pre-tax profit of $51.86 billion, up from $411 million a year earlier.

By Gary Cooper