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Bank of Ireland must now provide a ‘customer dividend’ as it posts €1.4 billion profits for 2021 - Pearse Doherty TD

28 February, 2022 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has called on Bank of Ireland to put its customers first as the bank recorded pre-tax profits of €1.4 billion for 2021, its biggest annual profit in over a decade.

Deputy Doherty said that the bank’s results for 2021, and its planned €104m in dividends and share buybacks, stand in stark contrast to the closure of bank branches and high mortgage interest rates.

Speaking today, the Donegal TD said:

“The announcement today that Bank of Ireland enjoyed pre-tax profits of €1.4 billion in 2021, its biggest annual profit in over a decade, should be followed by a more consumer-centred approach.

“Bank of Ireland customers will be more aware than anyone that these financial results stand in stark contrast to the 88 branches that were closed in September last year, or the fact that customers continue to pay among the highest mortgage interest rates in Europe.

“As Bank of Ireland announced that they plan share buybacks and dividend payments to their shareholders worth over €100 million, customers will ask ‘what is the reward for us?’

“As Bank of Ireland posts its best profit results since the financial crash, and increases the scale of its operation with the acquisition of Davy Stockbrokers and a significant portion of KBC’s loan and deposit book, it will continue to grow.

“We must see a customer dividend in the years ahead.

“It should be noted that today’s announcements again raise questions over the Minister for Finance’s decision to reduce the annual yield from the banking levy.

“And that through its ability to carry forward historic losses, Bank of Ireland will be able reduce its tax liability in the years ahead despite its high levels of profitability.

“As we face great challenges in the years ahead that require funding, this decision was the wrong one which should be reversed.”

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