Molloy: We will work with NAMA

NEW Bank of Ireland governor Pat Molloy was quick to express his confidence in the bank’s future yesterday.

Mr Molloy, who was chief executive of the bank in the 1990s, formally succeeded Richard Burrows as the company’s governor /chairman at yesterday’s annual general meeting and didn’t hesitate in putting forward his thoughts on the current shape of the business.

This came as a relief to shareholders, many of whom name- checked him from the floor as seemingly the only man who could turn the bank’s fortunes around.

Addressing shareholders in the closing item of business at yesterday’s meeting, Mr Molloy said he hoped to speak to them again at next year’s AGM in a position to report “significant progress” on a number of immediate priorities.

“The challenges we face are very significant, but we also have a great heritage to draw on and a number of important attributes that will stand to us in the battles ahead,” he added.

“In the immediate future one of our main business priorities is to engage with the National Asset Management Agency.

“We are committed to doing this in a constructive manner with a view to achieving the best outcome for all parties concerned,” he commented.

He added that the bank needed to fund its balance sheet effectively, strengthen its capital base, actively manage its credit risks, rigorously manage its costs and support its customers responsibly through difficult times.

“In dealing successfully with these priorities, we will stabilise the bank, secure our future and rebuild value for our stockholders,” Mr Molloy said.

After being slightly down for much of yesterday, BoI’s share price rallied to finish up slightly by 0.92% (1c) at €1.54.

Despite the difficult trading environment, shareholders were told the bank has increased its lending capacity to businesses and first- time mortgage borrowers and is granting loans in the majority of applications from small firms.

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