Central Bank reports profit of €2.3bn

Profits will revert to more modest levels over the medium term as the effect of the IBRC bond sales diminish

Central bank Governor Philip Lane said that while Ireland’s domestic economy continues to improve, external risks remain significant. (Photograph: Cyril Byrne)

Central bank Governor Philip Lane said that while Ireland’s domestic economy continues to improve, external risks remain significant. (Photograph: Cyril Byrne)

 

The Central Bank has reported a financial profit of €2.3 billion for 2016.

After retained earnings, a surplus income amounting to €1.8 billion will be paid to the exchequer.

Governor Philip Lane said the increased level of profitability reflected the legacies of the financial crisis, which will diminish over time.

Approximately €1.9 billion of the 2016 profit was generated by interest income and realised capital gains on its so called “special portfolio” that was acquired as a result of the liquidation of IBRC, formerly Anglo Irish Bank.

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“The Central Bank has stated that it will dispose of the government bonds held in the special portfolio as soon as possible, provided conditions of financial stability permit,” Prof Lane said.

“These high profit levels will, therefore, inevitably decline in future years as disposals of the special portfolio come to an end,” he said.

On the bank’s mortgage lending restrictions, Prof Lane said the measures aimed to enhance the resilience of both borrowers and banks.

Following a review of the restrictions last year, the bank loosened its loan to value lending caps, a move that has been blamed for fuelling inflation in the housing market.

Prof Lane said the changes were introduced to improve their sustainability and effectiveness.

“In line with our procedures, the calibration of the mortgage measures will be reviewed in November each year,” he said.

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