Bank of Ireland, the country’s largest by assets, is back in the black, making a profit in 2014 for the first time since 2008.
Growth has been regained with a mixture of new lending and the balance sheet has been boosted by using money set aside for bad loans.
Its recovery is quicker than many of its competitors as its two main markets, Ireland and the UK, have grown quicker than most of the rest of Europe. The news saw shares surge 8%, and Bank of Ireland is leading a sector-wide recovery. RBS’s Ulster arm returned to profit this week, and Allied Irish is expected to report the same next week.