AIB in profit and cuts mortgage rate

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Allied Irish Banks (AIB) remained profitable in the first quarter after clawing back more money put aside for bad loans, the lender said, and announced a cut to its standard variable mortgage.

After exceeding expectations with the sale of a 25 per cent stake in permanent tsb, the Irish government has turned its attention to AIB and is considering a similarly sized sale in the next country’s number two lender.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said he would wait until the bank’s half-year results before a decision and AIB said its net interest margin, loan book and capital ratios, all key measures, had increased in the three months.