Haven Mortgages, the AIB unit that offers home loans through brokers, saw its loan book increase by almost 19 per cent last year to €1.7 billion to outshine its parent group, whose portfolio continued a trend of contraction since the onset of the financial crisis.
“The 18.6 per cent increase in mortgage balances reflect Haven’s continued success in attracting new customers during the financial year,” Haven said in recently-filed full-year results with the Companies Registration Office.
“As a result of positive trends in the Irish economy, including an improving residential property market and decreasing unemployment, leading to an improvement in asset values and borrower repayment capacity, the company’s impaired loans decreased to €158.1 million, or 9 per cent of total loans.”
The AIB group’s loan book contracted to €65.2 billion last year from €70 billion in 2015, as the nation’s lenders continued to see their loan books shrink in the wake of the property crash. Many analysts believe that Irish banks will see their loan books begin to stabilise or grow this year, excluding the risk of big swings in sterling against the euro.
Haven was set up by building society EBS in December 2007 to focus on mortgage distribution through the intermediary market. EBS was taken over by AIB under direction from the Government in 2011, under measures restructuring the country’s then-ailing banking system.
Haven’s after-tax profit rose to €27.5 million last year from €24.4 million.
Last week Haven followed AIB by cutting interest rates across a range of mortgage products, reducing monthly payments for about 7,000 Haven customers from next month. It marks the fifth such reduction from Haven in three years, in line with AIB.