LONDON -- Allied Irish Banks PLC said it will cut 220 jobs in its British operations.

The Dublin-based bank said the move was prompted by the recession in Britain and was part of its decision to concentrate on retail branch banking while withdrawing from peripheral activities such as asset finance and centralized customer lending.

Allied Irish did not say when the job cuts would occur or whether they would require layoffs.

In the fiscal year that ended March 31, the company's British losses, which excluded results in Northern Ireland, rose almost 10-fold, to the equivalent of $89 million.

At the time, Allied Irish said that its British retail and commercial banking businesses were profitable, but that its commercial mortgage business suffered "substantial losses" and required large provisions for bad debts.

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