Bank guarantee expected to be signed into law today

The Government's plan to guarantee all deposits held by Irish-owned banks is expected to be signed into law by the President today.

The Dáil approved the Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Bill in in the early hours of this morning and the Seanad began debating the proposed legislation at 2.30am. That debate is on-going.

Some senators were highly critical of the lending practices of the banks in recent years, but they are expected to support the Bill in order to safeguard the Irish economy.

It will then be sent to the President for final approval.

The Dáil approved a number of opposition amendments to the legislation, including a measure to put a public interest watchdog on the boards of banks which avail of the guarantee.

The charges banks will pay and the conditions that will be applied are due to be outlined next week.

The Labour Party, however, voted against the bill, with spokesperson Joan Burton saying it lacked improved regulation and transparency to ensure the banks cannot engage in further reckless behaviour.

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