Banks sink Ireland to base of global competitiveness table

IRISH banks are at the bottom of the world league competitiveness table, according to a survey of 139 countries.

The Global Competitiveness Report, compiled by the World Economic Forum, placed Irish institutions last in the “soundness of banks” rankings, behind even Iceland and Greece.

Irish banks were also near the bottom of the access to loans charts – ranked 117th of countries survey.

In terms of overall competitiveness, Ireland has fallen four places to 29th in the 2010-11 report.

Meanwhile, Anglo’s chief executive predicted the final bill to taxpayers of the bank’s bailout could be closer to €30 billion.

Mike Aynsley told Reuters the €25bn originally estimated would have been correct if management’s preference for a “good bank-bad bank” structure had been adopted. However, the Government has rejected these proposals and instead opted for what it calls a “variation” on them.

Anglo will still be split into two banks – a funding bank to hold deposits and an asset recovery bank to work out loans – but both will likely be wound down over 15 years.

Anglo had previously warned that a long-term wind-down could cost €30bn. And Mr Aynsley said yesterday he expected the original €25bn bill would now increase by between €3.5bn to €5bn.

“All things being equal and subject to the details we’re going through, I suspect it is going to be somewhere between what we would have expected in a long-term wind down versus a good bank-bad bank,” he said.

The Financial Regulator is preparing estimates for how much capital each of the banks will require.


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