Northern Ireland business banking ‘subdued due to Brexit concerns’

Business banking is “subdued” in Northern Ireland due to uncertainty around Brexit, Danske Bank has said.

Demand for lending is below normal levels, the firm’s latest results showed.

Danske made £71 million pre-tax profit in Northern Ireland during the nine months to September.

Operating profit is up 3% year on year. Costs were 2% lower.

Danske Bank UK chief executive Kevin Kingston said: “In business banking, demand for lending continues to be subdued as a result of uncertainty around the stretched Brexit process.

“It is important to note that our capacity to support new business lending remains strong, but current demand levels are below what we would expect in a more normalised trading environment.

“There has been a notable uplift in customer requests for support, advice and guidance from our business banking relationship managers – these are conversations we encourage and value.

“In the short-term, the business community awaits much-needed clarity on what the Brexit journey will look like. However the reality is, whatever shape it takes, it will only be the beginning of a new operating environment, and the process of change will be a significant factor in everybody’s lives for many years to come.”

Danske is one of the biggest banks in Northern Ireland and employs around 1,500 staff.

Turnover was worth £176 million.

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