Northern Bank sets aside £169m to cover bad loans

NORTHERN Bank, the Belfast-based lender, has reported a £100m loss.

The deposit-taker posted an operating profit of £68.6m but had to set aside £168.7m to cover toxic loan losses, most of them on property.

Chief executive Gerry Mallon said so far only £7.6m had been written off on debts: “Given the local climate, we had to make prudent provision.

“However, these provisions have reduced across the year and we were able to comfortably absorb these within our strong capital base.”

Total lending fell five per cent year-on-year at the bank’s 83 branches, which span Northern Ireland.