DUBLIN Aug 1 Bank of Ireland said it
anticipates that its net interest margin - a gauge of the
profitability of its lending - will keep expanding after
crossing a target of 2 percent following stellar growth last
The bank, which turned a profit for the first time in five
years in the first half of this year, said on Friday that its
margin improved to 2.05 percent in the period to end-June with
further increases in new lending needed to push it on further.
"We're not resting at 2 percent. The jaws continue to widen.
It'll be more gradual from here, but we would anticipate that it
would continue to grow," Bank of Ireland chief executive Richie
Boucher told reporters.
Boucher added that bad-loan charges would keep trending down
after falling by more than 40 percent to 444 million
euros($594.29 million) in the first six months of the year and
that the bank had seen a broad-based pick up in credit demand
over the last two months.
(1 US dollar = 0.7471 euro)
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Matt Driskill)