M&T profits jump 40% in Q3

M&T BANK, the US bank in which AIB holds a near 23% stake, has reported a 40% year-on-year increase in third quarter net profits but has still seen a like-for-like fall of 46% in profit for the year to date.

The Buffalo, New York-based bank, which has recently been at the centre of renewed asset disposal speculation concerning AIB, said that income for the three months to the end of September was boosted by acquisitions, most notably that of the Baltimore-based Bradford Bank.

Net income for the three months to the end of September reached $127.6m (€85.6m), up by 40% on the same period last year, while basic earnings per share were up by 17% at 97c. For the nine months up to the end of September, however, net profit was down by 46% year-on-year, at $243.07m (€162.85m), and basic earnings per share were down by 55%, at 184c.

“Our approach of providing basic banking services to customers we know in the communities where we live and work continues to prove quite successful.

“Credit costs remain below current industry experience,” said M&T chief financial officer Rene Jones.

In terms of bad loan provisions, $154m (€103m) was set aside by the bank to cover losses during the third quarter. This figure was up from $101m (€68m) for the same period last year. However, on a rolling quarter-by-quarter basis, the bad debt provision only worsened by $7m (€5m) from $147m (€98m) at the end of June. M&T added that it would now be modifying the terms of some of its home loan products “in an effort to assist borrowers”.

The value of loan write-offs, though, amounted to $141m (€94m) for the third quarter – up from $94m (€63m) on a year-on-year basis.

In terms of AIB, while speculation surrounding the sale of its 70.4% stake in Bank Zachodni in Poland has subsided, talk of it disposing of the M&T stake is still rife and rose again after a meeting between AIB management and Bloxham Stockbrokers last month. AIB, however, remains tight-lipped on the question of selling its US interest.

A spokesperson for the bank said that the company effectively hasn’t budged from its position of last April, when it said that it would consider all assets when looking at ways to raise further capital.

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