Ulster Bank swung into an operating profit of €13 million in the Republic in the first quarter of the year as it freed up money that was previously set aside to cover bad loans, while its U.K. parent said that plans to wind down the unit over the coming years remain “on track,” the Irish Times reported. The Dublin-based lender’s loan book dipped by €200 million to €19.8 billion during the first three months of the year, as loan repayment outpaced new lending, while deposits dipped by €100 million to €100 million to €21.7 billion, driven by a reduction in commercial balances.
The proportion of businesses in the Republic availing of COVID-related income supports or wage subsidies peaked at 57 percent last April, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and reported by The Irish Times. It fell to a pandemic low of 30 percent in September before rising again to 45.6 percent or 113,000 in January this year.
The Irish High Court has approved a survival plan for the troubled airline Norwegian Air and related companies, the Irish Times reported. In a written decision Mr. Justice Michael Quinn said he was satisfied to approve the scheme put together by the airline’s examiner Kieran Wallace of KPMG. The airline’s Oslo-based parent company and several of its Irish-registered subsidiaries had sought the protection of the Irish courts due to factors including the devastating impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the airline industry and international travel.