Irish Life posts operating loss

IRISH Life and Permanent Group Holdings reported an operating loss of €197m (£167m) for 2010, in line with the previous year.

The bancassurer said profits in its life business rose 57 per cent to €160m while its business banking losses jumped 36 per cent to €364m on the back of larger impairment provisions.

Irish Life said it made total provisions of €420m in 2010, including €242m in impairment provisions for Irish mortgages.

The group said total arrears for the Irish mortgage book were up 49 per cent in the year to end December.

It added that consolidation in the Irish banking sector was “inevitable and desirable”.