Foreign depositors 'couldn't distinguish between AIB and Anglo', Banking Inquiry told

The belief that foreign investors could not distingush between Allied Irish Banks and Anglo Irish Bank contributed to the Government's decision to saved the doomed lender, the Banking Inquiry was told today.

Foreign depositors 'couldn't distinguish between AIB and Anglo', Banking Inquiry told

The belief that foreign investors could not distinguish between Allied Irish Banks and Anglo Irish Bank contributed to the Government's decision to saved the doomed lender, the Banking Inquiry was told today.

Two former auditors have told the Inquiry that the Government had discussed the nationalisation of Anglo before deciding on the bank guarantee.

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Two partners at Price Waterhouse Coopers said that the prospect of nationalising the bank was discussed with then-Taoiseach Brian Cowen four days before the guarantee was agreed.

Speaking at the inquiry, former auditor Dennis O'Connor said it became important to save Anglo Irish Bank - albeit for a bizarre reason.

"Depositors from other parts of the world really couldn't distinguish, it's hard to believe that they couldn't, between AIB [Allied Irish Banks] and Anglo Irish Bank, and the contention [was], in fact, that if one bank was to go, it would have knocked everything else over at the same time," he said.

"So it was key that all confidence was kept in the market and that whatever was to happen, it was to happen in an organised manner in the next number of days."

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