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Bank of Ireland CEO Says Home Loan Arrears to Peak in 2012

Bank of Ireland Chief Executive Officer Richie Boucher said he expects the lender’s home loan arrears, which rose to 5.6 percent in December from 3.76 percent a year earlier, to peak in 2012.

“We don’t anticipate they’ve peaked yet,” Boucher told reporters after the company reported full-year figures. Still, the bank expects “the ratio of increase will start to ease in 2012 and will peak in 2012.”

The bank has about 1 billion euros of provisions set aside to cover bad home loans. Bank of Ireland is “highly likely” to participate in the European Central Bank’s second offering of three-year loans at the end of February, Boucher said. While Bank of Ireland tapped the ECB for 7.5 billion euros of funds in the Frankfurt-based bank’s first offering of long-term loans in December, this reflected the Irish bank switching short-term ECB loans for three-year facilities, he said.

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