- Bank of Ireland swung to an underlying pre-tax loss of €374 million in 2020, from a profit of €758 million as lower interest rates and impairments weighed on results.

The company did, however, return to an underlying profit of €295 million in the second half of the year, amid good momentum and an improvement in economic activity.

Despite the improvement, business income was down 21% in 2020 when compared to 2019.

Net interest income fell 2% to €2.1 billion due to lower new lending volumes and the on-going impact of lower interest rates.

The outlook continued to be impacted by COVID-19, with 2021 total income expected to be 'broadly in line with 2020 reflecting lower net interest income, higher business income supported by our wealth and insurance business and a lower charge for valuation items,' the company said.

'On asset quality, subject to no further deterioration in the economic conditions or outlook, the majority of the credit impairment risk associated with COVID-19 has been captured and we expect the 2021 impairment charge to be materially lower than 2020,' it added.

At 9:30am: [LON:BIRG] Bank Of Ireland Group Plc share price was 0p at 2.47p

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