Danske Bank’s Northern Ireland business has recorded a pre-tax profit of £152.2 million for the first nine months of 2023, compared to £79.6million in 2022.
According to Danske Bank UK, the strong income performance was driven by lending growth, higher UK interest rates and transactional activity.
The latest financial results from the lender also revealed that deposits were down 2% year-on-year but remain 39% higher than levels recorded pre-pandemic.
Vicky Davies, CEO of Danske Bank UK, explained: “I am pleased to announce a strong set of results for the first nine months of 2023.
“A robust financial performance means we are well positioned to continue to support customers and to invest in improving customer experience.
“The first nine months of the year has seen us support the business community in Northern Ireland with over £450 million in business lending approvals.
“In quarter three this included growth funding support for Belfast Harbour, Belfast International Airport, Park Electrical Services, and Killahoey Ltd – aiding their acquisition of Rushmere Shopping Centre and Retail Park in Craigavon.
“In personal banking, despite rising interest rates, mortgage lending has remained resilient and been supported by low unemployment. In quarter three we noted a 35% quarter-on-quarter increase in mortgage lending approvals in Northern Ireland. In what has been an ever-changing interest rate environment we have seen most new mortgage customers this year opting for a two-year fixed product, as opposed to a five-year fix, which was more popular last year. Around half of the new mortgage lending we have approved across the UK in 2023 has been through our carbon neutral mortgage product.
“We are focused on further optimising our current account range and have been pleased to see increased demand for our Discovery youth accounts - with over 2,200 young people becoming customers in the past three months.
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“We continue to invest in our digital banking offering and have seen a 25% increase in customer log ins to our digital channels over the past two years - with us now recording over seven million per month. Customers can open new savings accounts through our Mobile Banking App, and in September we introduced further functionality which now also allows them to apply for personal loans digitally.
“We remain mindful that cost-of-living challenges persist for customers and across society. The vast majority of customers are managing to prioritise the repayment of loans, but we are being proactive and reaching out to customers on variable rates, tracker products, interest only and those we have identified as being most likely to potentially struggle with higher payments.
“Our advice to both personal and business customers worried about affordability is to always contact us at the earliest possible opportunity. We will take an empathetic and supportive approach, with a range of tailored forbearance options in place to meet their individual circumstances. Overall lending arrears levels across the Bank remain very low.
“Moving forward we are resolute in our commitment to help customers, colleagues and society - while continuing to play an integral role in supporting the local economy.”