Wednesday, August 10, 2011

10/08/2011: Bank of Ireland Interim Results H1 2011

Bank of Ireland interim results are out today, confirming, broadly speaking several assertions I've made before. You can skip to the end of the note to read my conclusions, unless you want to see specifics.

The numbers and some comments:
  • Operating profit before impairments down from €479mln to €163mln. Profits before tax rose to €556mln compared to €116mln a year ago. Please remember that PCAR tests assumed strong operating profit performance for the bank through 2013. BofI net loss was €507mln reduced by the one-off gains of €143mln. While it is impossible to say from these short-run results if PCAR numbers are impacted, if deterioration in underlying profit takes place, ceteris paribus, recapitalization numbers will change.
  • Impairment charges fell from €1,082mln to €842mln - which is good news. The decline is 22.2% - significant, but on a smaller base of assets and contrasted with 72% drop off in operating profit.
  • Residential mortgages impairments shot straight up from €142mln to €159mln against a relatively healthier mortgages book that BofI holds. This 11% rise overall conceals a massive 30% increase in Irish residential mortgages impairments in 12 months. Again - predicted by some analysts before, but not factored fully into either PCAR tests or banking policies at large. Despite claims by Richie Boucher that these are in line with bank expectations, the bank expects mortgages arrears to peak in mid-2012. This is unlikely in my view, as even PCAR tests do not expect the peak to happen until 2016-2017. In addition, the bank view ignores the risk of amplified defaults should the Government bring in robust personal bankruptcy reform. The PCAR indirectly accounted for this, but in a very ad hoc way.
  • So mortgages arrears in Ireland are now running at 4.55% for owner-occupiers and 7.84% for buy-to-let mortgages, with 3,900 mortgage 'modified' in the period and 5,000 more in process of 'modifications'.
  • Past-due loans stood at €5.743 billion in H1 2011 down from €5.892 billion in H2 2010. However, impaired loans rose from €10.982 billion in H2 2010 to €12.311 billion in H1 2011. So overall, past-due and impaired loans accounted for 16% of the loan book (at €18,054 million) in H1 2011 against 14% of the book (€16,874 million) in H2 2010. (see table below)
  • Total volumes of mortgages held by the bank is now €58 billion down from €60 billion in H1 2010. However residential mortgages held in Ireland remain static at €28 billion, so there appears to be no deleveraging amongst Irish households despite some writedowns of mortgages in the year to date.
  • SME and corporate loans volumes dropped from €31 billion a year ago to €28 billion in H1 2011.
  • Property and construction loans declined €1 billion to €23 billion of which €19 billion is investment loans (down €1 billion) and the balance (unchanged yoy) is land.
  • So far, as the result of deleveraging, bank assets book became more geared toward residential mortgages (52% as opposed to 51% a year ago), less geared toward SME and corporate sector (25% today as opposed to 26% a year ago) and unchanged across Property and Construction (20%), but slightly down on consumer loans (3%). In other words, the bank is now 72% vested into property markets against 71% in H1 2010.
  • With only 1/2 Bank of Ireland's assets sourced in Ireland, impairments were reduced by 22% by its operations abroad, which contributed to almost 50% reduction in its underlying pretax loss. This suggests that as the bank continues to sell overseas assets, its longer term exposure to Ireland will expand, implying that the positive impact of the disposed assets on the bottom line will be reduced as.
  • Table below breaks down impaired loans and provisions, showing - as the core result that overall impaired loans as % of all loans assets is are now at 11%, against 9.2% at the end of December 2010.
  • Coverage ratios are generally determined by the nature of the loan assets and the extent and quality of underlying collateral held against the loan. Across the bank, impairment provisions as a percentage of impaired loans declined from 45% in H2 2010 to 44% at H1 2011. The coverage ratio on Residential mortgages increased from 67% to 72% over the period. However, Residential mortgages that are ‘90 days past due’, where no loss is expected to be incurred, are not included in ‘impaired loans’ in the table below. This represents added risk due to potential inaccuracies in valuations on underlying collateral and/or value of the assets. If all Residential mortgages that are ‘90 days past due’ were included in ‘impaired loans’, the coverage ratio for Residential mortgages would be 29% at
    30 June 2011, unchanged from 31 December 2010. Which, means that risk offset cushion carried by the bank would not have increased since December 2010. In H1 2011, the Non-property SME and corporate loans coverage ratio has increased to 42% from 40% on H2 2010. The coverage ratio on the Property and construction loans was 38% at 30 June 2011 down from 42% at 31 December 2010 primarily due to an increase in Investment property loans which are ‘90 days past due’ that are "currently being renegotiated but where a loss is not anticipated".


  • Per bank own statement: ‘Challenged’ loans include ‘impaired loans’, together with elements of ‘past due but not impaired’, ‘lower quality but not past due nor impaired’ and loans at the lower end of ‘acceptable quality’ which are subject to increased credit scrutiny.
  • Table below highlights the volumes of challenged loans.
  • Pre-impairment total volume of loans stood at €111.902bn of which €24.464bn were challenged - a rate of 21.9%. In H2 2010 the same numbers were €119.432bn, €23.787bn or 19.9%. In other words, they really do know how to lend in BofI, don't they? Every euro in five is now under stress according to their own metrics.
  • Per bank statement, deposits remain largely unchanged at the bank at €65 billion (through end of June), same as at the end of December 2010.
  • This is offset by the fact that parts of its UK deposits book has grown over this period of time, implying contraction in deposits in Ireland. The bank statement shows Irish customer deposits at €34 billion in H1 2011, down from €35 billion in H1 2010. The UK deposits overall remained static at €21 billion (due to stronger Euro against sterling, with sterling deposits up from 18bn to 19bn year on year).
  • With ECB/CBofI funding BofI to the tune of €29 billion, the above figures imply that the bank in effect depends on monetary authorities for more funds than its entire Irish customers deposits base, which really means that it is hardly a fully functional retail bank, but rather a sort of a hybrid dependent on the good will of Euro area subsidy.
  • Loans to deposits ratio fell to 164% - massively shy of 122.5% the Regulator identified as the target for 2011-2013 adjustments. Which means that the scale of disposals will have to be large. This in turn implies higher downside risk from disposal of performing assets (selection bias working against the bank balance sheet in the future). The bank needs to sell some €10 billion worth of loans and work off €20 billion more by the end of 2013 to comply with PCAR target to reduce its dependence on ECB funding.
  • Reliance on the Central Bank funding is down €1 billion to €29 billion - and that is in the period when the Irish Government put €3 billion of deposits into BofI.
  • The Gov (NTMA) deposits amount to €3 billion and were counted as ordinary deposits on the Capital markets book, in which case, of course, the outflow of the real Irish deposits from the bank was pretty big. BofI provides an explanation for these numbers on page 2o of its report, stating: "Capital Markets deposits amounted to €9.7 billion at 30 June 2011 as compared with €9.2 billion at 31 December 2010. The net increase of €0.5 billion reflects the receipt of €3 billion deposits from the National Treasury Management Agency (which were repaid following the 2011 Capital Raise in late July 2011) partly offset by loss of deposits as a result of the disposal of BOISS whose customers had placed deposits of €1 billion with the Group at 31 December 2010 and an outflow of other Capital Markets deposits of €1.5 billion during the six months ended 30 June 2011."
  • Hence, excluding Government deposits, the bank deposit book stood at €62 billion. Factoring out Gov (NTMA) deposits into the loans/deposits ratio implies the ratio rising to 172% from 164%.
  • Wholesale funding declined €9 billion to €61 billion with some improved maturity (€3 billion of decline came from funding >1 year to maturity, against €6 billion of decline in funding with <1 year in maturity). The bank raised €2.9 billion in term loans in 2 months through July 2011 - a stark contrast to the rest of the IRL6 zombies.
  • Net interest margin - the difference between average lending rates and funding costs - fell from 1.41% in H1 2010 to 1.33% in H1 2011 as funding costs rose internationally and as Irish households' ability to pay deteriorated further. Net interest income was down 14% as costs of deposits rose.
  • In addition, the cost of the government guarantee of Bank of Ireland's liabilities rose 58% from H1 2010 to €239mln in H1 2011.
  • By division, underlying operating profit before impairment charges fell in all divisions.
  • Cost income ratio shot up from 61% a year ago to 83% in H1 2011.
  • It's worth noting the costs base at the bank: Operating expenses were €431mln for H1 2011, a decrease of €36mln compared to H1 2010. Average staff numbers (full time equivalents) = 5,519 for H1 2011 were 101 lower on H1 2010. The staff numbers, therefore, are really out of line with decreasing business levels
  • Bank Core tier 1, and total capital ratios were 9.5% and 11.0% respectively, against 31 December 2010 Core tier 1, and total capital ratios of 9.7%, and 11.0%. Were €3.8 billion (net) equity capital raising completed at 30 June 2011, the Group’s Core tier 1 ratio would have been 14.8%. Note that, much unreported: "A Contingent capital note with a nominal value of €1.0 billion and which qualifies as Tier 2 capital was issued to the State in July 2011." This comes with maturity of 5 years. The note has a coupon of 10%, which can be increased to 18% if the State wish to sell the note. If the Core tier 1 capital of the Group’s falls below 8.25%, the note automatically converts to ordinary stock at the conversion price of the volume-weighted average price of the ordinary stock over the 30 days prior to conversion, subject to a minimum conversion price of €0.05 per unit.

Summary:
  • Overall, BofI confirmed with today's results that it is the only bank that we can feasibly rescue out of the entire IRL6 institutions, as impairments in BofI decline is contrasted with ca 30% rise in impairments at the AIB over the same H1 2011.
  • However, severe headwinds remain on mortgages side and provisioning, funding and costs.
  • The figures for impairments and 'challenged' loans show that the bank faces elevated risks on at least 22% of its loans.
  • The figures on funding side show that the bank is still far from being a functional self-funding entity.
  • The figures on deposits side show that it continues to lose business despite shrinking its margins to attract depositors.
  • The figures on staffing and costs side show that the bank management has no executable strategy to bring under control its operating costs.
  • The figures on lending side show the the bank is amplifying its exposure to property rather than reducing it, in effect becoming less diversified and higher risk.
  • The figures on deleveraging side show that the bank risk profile can be severely adversely impacted by the CBofI-mandated disposals of assets.
And that's folks, is the best bank we've got of all IRL6!
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