Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc said its Irish unit, Ulster Bank, posted its first quarterly profit in five years as impaired loan losses fell 80 percent, helped by a transfer of risky assets to an internal bad bank.
Ireland’s central bank is weighing selling more of its holdings of the nation’s bonds than scheduled this year, as yields on Irish benchmark notes hover at record lows, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
European Central Bank council member Patrick Honohan welcomed the bank’s government bond purchases as an “important” new weapon in its armory and said any risks associated with the policy are being managed.
Irish Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan said tougher action is required to reduce the nation’s budget deficit after a fiscal deterioration “worse than almost any other country” during the financial crisis.
European Central Bank officials may consider as soon as today which concessions they are prepared to grant Ireland to lower the cost of the nation’s bank bailout, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.