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Francesca McDonagh, group chief executive of Bank of Ireland

The Irish economy is the fastest growing in Europe, but BoI’s and AIB’s profits are down. Legacy issues and political machinations aren’t making things easy

A number of times during a briefing for media on Monday morning, the Bank of Ireland chief executive Francesca McDonagh spoke about the strength of the Irish economy: the fastest growing in the eurozone, with record-high employment rates. Yet for all that, the tax on the bank’s profits for last year at €935 million (still a huge number) were actually down slightly. At AIB on Friday morning, its new chief executive Colin Hunt reported a similar trend. While lending had grown, the bank’s earnings for the year also slid a little, coming in at €1.25 billion for 2018.

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