Ulster Bank likely to peg tracker cost at €211m

Ulster Bank looks set to keep the costs of provisions pegged at €211m for its part in the industry-wide tracker mortgage scandal.

In an earnings release of its parent RBS, the lender gave no hint that it would increase its provision for ‘legacy’ issues it established some time ago. Ulster Bank had said that it had identified 3,500 customers whom it had wrongly moved from tracker rates, and had so far compensated 100 customers.

According to the RBS figures, Ulster Bank in the Republic generated income of £150m (€168.6m) in the three months to the end of September and earned an adjusted operating profit of £41m.

Over the first nine months, Ulster earned an adjusted operating profit of £131m on income of £446m.

Overall, its RBS parent raised income and cut costs in the third quarter to deliver a forecast-beating operating profit which lifted shares in the UK state-owned bank. RBS said operating profit was £871m in the quarter, beating analysts’ expectations as it increased income by 6% from the same period a year ago.

Saved by a £45.5bn UK government bailout during the 2008 financial crisis, RBS reported its third consecutive quarter of profitability as it emerges from restructuring but still forecasts an overall loss this year.

Analysts have said an expected settlement with the US Department of Justice over its alleged mis-selling of mortgage-backed securities during the financial crisis could hit £12bn. RBS also faces the possibility of action from the UK’s financial watchdog over the treatment of small businesses.

Additional reporting Reuters

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