Commissioner welcomes banking 'clarity'

Commissioner welcomes banking 'clarity'

European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia today welcomed the comprehensive statement issued by Finance Minister Brian Lenihan on the banking system, saying it brought "clarity" to the situation.

It was earlier revealed by the Central Bank that the final bill to the taxpayer of bailing out Anglo Irish Bank is expected to be €29.3bn, with a "worst case scenario" of up to €34bn also being outlined.

It has also emerged that Allied Irish Bank will also need another €3bn on top of the funding it has already received, and Irish Nationwide Building Society needs another €2.7bn.

Minister Lenihan also today insisted that Ireland remained fully committed to bringing its deficit - now at 32% of GDP - to under 3% by 2014.

A four-year budgetary plan is to be published in early November to set out a pathway towards this target.

"I welcome the statement on banking which brings clarity with regard to the remaining transfer of assets to NAMA and the capital needs of some banks and building societies," Commissioner Almunia said.

"Concerning Anglo-Irish Bank, from a competition point of view, it is clear that the foreseen restructuring and resolution of the bank addresses competition distortions created by the large amounts of aid at stake.

"Once the Commission receives the details of the plan, it will proceed rapidly towards taking a final decision," Commissioner Almunia said.

The Commissioner also said he "noted positively" that Bank of Ireland will be able to continue its own restructuring process without further recourse to State resources.

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