The Wealth and Insurance division of Bank of Ireland recorded €169m ($182.8m) of pretax profit in 2019.
This is compared to the €69m earned in 2018. The positive results were attributed to “strong overall business performance” as well as strong performance in investment markets.
Operating profit was up 18% year-on-year for Bank of Ireland, from €114m in 2018 to €134m in 2019. Furthermore, operating income increased 12% from €241m to €269m thanks to the benefit of assumption charges.
Bank of Ireland’s digital push
The bank is continuing its investment to digitise Wealth and Insurance platforms. Bank of Ireland aims to deliver a business accessible through multiple media. Digital connection with brokers for key products was launched.
In addition, Bank of Ireland is ongoing the rollout of its life assurance digital advice platform, the first in Ireland. There is also a digital insurance wallet allowing customers to manage everything in one place.
As Ireland’s only bancassurer, it managed to increase the penetration of Wealth and Insurance products to its banking customer base to 32%.
Francesca McDonagh, group chief executive, said: ” For the second successive year, we have grown our loan book, expanded our Wealth and Insurance business, reduced our cost base and lowered our non-performing exposures (NPEs). We grew our capital base during 2019 and are reporting an underlying profit before tax of €758m for the period.
“While Brexit related uncertainties persisted throughout 2019, the Irish economy has continued to expand. The economic fundamentals in our core home market remain supportive. Irish Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is expected to be 5.8% in 2019 while unemployment is at a low level. The UK economy remained resilient with moderate GDP growth and unemployment at a multi-decade low.”
Patrick Kennedy, chairman, added: “I am pleased to report that over the past year the Group has continued to deliver on the growth and efficiency strategy laid out at our Investor Day in 2018. Our loan books and Wealth and Insurance business have grown, our cost base has reduced, and our transformation programme has made further progress.”