Irish debts hit Danske Bank

DENMARK’S biggest lender Danske Bank took a 4bn crown (£472m) hit from Irish bad debts in the first half of the year and said the country remained a challenge, although its home market stabilised.

Danske, which owns National Irish Bank and Northern Bank, said its second-quarter pre-tax profit rose to 2.08bn crowns from 1.74bn a year earlier.

The bank said the rise was due to higher than expected trading income and a 21 per cent fall in bad loans.