Danske Bank Says Andrew Healy Resigns as Irish Loans Split

Danske Bank A/S said its National Irish Bank unit chief executive officer, Andrew Healy, resigned as part of a restructuring that will move its commercial real estate loans into a separate unit.

“We want to focus on our core business in Ireland,” Eivind Kolding, chairman of Danske Bank’s executive board, said today in a statement. “Danske Bank has considered alternative options and decided that this solution is the best in terms of creating value. With these initiatives, we also confirm our commitment to Ireland.”

Healy’s departure means that nine of the heads of the largest 10 banks in Ireland have quit since loan losses started to soar in 2008 after the collapse of the domestic real estate market. National Irish’s loan-loss impairments rose to 195.2 million euros ($253 million) in the first quarter from 172 million euros a year earlier, it said in today’s statement. Belgian-owned KBC Bank Ireland also reported today 195 million euros of first-quarter loan-loss provisions.

Danske said it is rebranding National Irish and its Northern Bank in Northern Ireland under the parent name this year. Healy had been CEO of National Irish since 2005, the year that Copenhagen-based Danske took over the two banks.

Ireland’s largest 10 consumer lenders, including four overseas-owned banks, lost about 117.8 billion euros on soured loans in the four years through December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. In addition to KBC and Danske’s first-quarter Irish losses, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s Ulster Bank unit reported 394 million pounds ($636 million) of impairment losses and Lloyds Bank Group Plc’s Irish portfolio had 526 million pounds of losses in the first three months.

National Irish’s pretax loss widened to 184.3 million euros in the first quarter from 161.4 million euros a year earlier, it said in a separate statement today. Customer deposits fell to 4.24 billion euros from 5.59 billion euros, it said. Total loans fell to 8.45 billion euros from 9.29 billion euros.

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