DUBLIN (AP) — Bank of Ireland — the only major Irish lender to avoid state control — has reported a higher loss in the first half of the year and higher impairments.

The bank said Friday that in the six months to June 30 its pretax loss rose to €1.26 billion ($1.55 billion) from €556 million a year earlier.

Impairment charges on loans and advances to customers were €941 million compared with €842 million a year earlier. Operating income was €900 million, down from €1 billion.

"The numbers of customers moving into arrears categories has continued to increase, partially reflecting a considerable number of our buy-to-let customers moving from interest only to full amortization," said Richie Boucher the bank's group chief executive.

Bank of Ireland shares were unchanged at €4.00 at midday.