Lenihan: AIB will not be nationalised

ALLIED IRISH BANK will not be fully nationalised and will “honour its debt obligations”, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said.

His comments yesterday came as the bank’s shares fell in value again amid ongoing concerns about its health.

Despite those concerns, Mr Lenihan said when quizzed about the issue by Bloomberg that the state would not take full ownership of the bank.

He has repeatedly stressed this since announcing the latest capital injection for the bank at the end of September.

Speaking at that time, he said: “Let’s be clear about this. AIB is not going to be nationalised in the way that Anglo Irish Bank was.

“It will remain as a listed institution on the market with full commercial autonomy. The bank must be run along full commercial lines.”

He said AIB had to be allowed function on a commercial basis if taxpayers were to get a return from the bank.

“It will, I believe, result in a substantial gain to the taxpayer over time as the bank is restored to its proper position,” he said.

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