Profits shrink at Bank of Ireland

BANK of Ireland’s underlying operating profit shrank by two-thirds in the first half of 2011 on steeper funding costs, a signal the country’s top lender has not fully recovered despite a fresh investor base and healthier loans book.

Operating profit before provisions fell two-thirds to €163m, but its underlying pre-tax loss nearly halved to €723m after impairments dropped by 22 per cent.