£500 million ‘Helping Northern Ireland Grow Again’ fund announced
|Profit before loan impairments||14.8||21.1||70|
|Profit before tax||15.8||1.4|
|Loans (end of period)||5,656m||5,540m||102|
|Deposits (end of period)||9,793m||7,643m||128|
- Profit before tax is £15.8 million, up from £1.4 million in quarter one 2020.
- Given ongoing Government economic support measures and an improved economic outlook, no increase in loan impairment provisions was required in the quarter.
- Many personal and business customers continue to pay off debt and hold savings, with deposit growth up 28% year-on-year.
Kevin Kingston, CEO of Danske Bank UK, commented:
“In 2021, we move forward with growing optimism around the key role we believe Danske Bank will play in the economic recovery across Northern Ireland.
“The success of the UK’s vaccine roll out, coupled with growing consumer and business confidence, offers opportunity for local businesses and individuals to now look ahead at fulfilling their ambitions.
“In quarter one we became one of the first banks in the UK to introduce a 95% loan to value mortgage product. Despite the unprecedented economic challenges of the past year, the housing market has remained robust with demand from prospective buyers at healthy levels. Our 95% loan-to-value mortgage product brought forward another option for those seeking to realise their aspiration of home ownership.
“Small business customers have been hit hard by the disruption of the past year, though many have been successfully diversifying. In quarter one we launched a small business advertising campaign to underscore our support for the sector and we are now seeing new small business account opening returning to pre-pandemic levels.
“We believe the economic cycle is starting to turn, and in quarter one investment support requests from medium to large sized business customers have steadily increased.
“Having played a key role in the provision of Government–backed support lending in 2020, it is imperative that lending focused on growth and renewal is now made available to the business community.
“Many businesses have investment plans that have been sitting on a shelf through the Brexit and COVID-19 uncertainty of the past two years. We understand from speaking to customers that many feel the time is now right to re-assess their investment ambitions.
“As the biggest bank in Northern Ireland we must lead from the front, and that is why today we are announcing our creation of a £500 million ‘Helping Northern Ireland Grow Again’ fund targeted at medium-large sized businesses. This initiative will sit alongside our small business and mortgage campaigns.
“The £500 million fund is in place for both existing business customers and businesses who are currently with other banks but who are open to moving their banking relationship to Danske Bank. We have the largest team of corporate and business banking relationship managers in Northern Ireland, and they will be proactively reaching out to businesses over the months ahead. New business customers who borrow from the fund will benefit from no arrangement, valuation or legal fees, as well as a 75% transactional fee discount for six months. The fund will remain open on these terms until the 30th September.
“I have been involved in business lending for over thirty years, and have always admired the Northern Irish entrepreneurial spirit and resilience in the face of adversity. Those traits remain ever-present across our business community. At Danske Bank, we must, and will, do all we can to support a return to economic growth, job creation and prosperity.”