Banking policy to take centre stage as FF think-in continues

Banking policy to take centre stage as FF think-in continues

Discussions on banking policy will be centre stage at the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party Conference which continues in Galway later.

TDs and Senators will hear from Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, the Chairman of NAMA and the head of the Credit Review Office.

The focus looks set to remain on the cost to the taxpayer of Anglo Irish Bank.

Minister Lenihan yesterday said he hopes to bring finality to that issue soon.

"Naturally there are those who seek further details and further details will be provided," he said.

"But I think what’s important about the figures in Anglo is that we don’t rush out with details.

“One of the difficulties in recent months has been that you have one set of figures coming from the bank itself, then you have the impact of the reductions in the value of the loans from the National Assets Management Agency, and then you have assessments by myself and the Regulator.

“And clearly it’s important that we have an agreed, definitive set of figures.”

The Finance Minister has also rejected suggestions the Government is hoping to resurrect troubled institutions - namely Anglo and Irish Nationwide Building Society - a charge levelled by an editorial in the Financial Times yesterday.

Minister Lenihan however stressed that Govt banking policy does not include saving Anglo.

“One of the key mistakes they (the FT) made was to say that Anglo and Nationwide were ‘Lazarus-like’ banks which the Government was trying to resurrect in the future… that’s not in accordance with the facts," he said.

“The position is, of course, that Anglo is being closed down over a number of years and indeed as early as last March I signalled that Nationwide had no future as an independent entity.

“So that has been made abundantly clear.”

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