THE State has clawed back €4bn in fees and charges from the main banks that were bailed out at taxpayers' expense.
New figures show that AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB have paid almost €3bn in return for being covered by the state bank guarantee. They also paid around €1bn more in fees for capital provided by the State.
But the €4bn paid by them since 2008 only represents around 14pc of the €29.4bn spent by the State on bailing out these three banks alone.
Labour TD Kevin Humphreys, who obtained the figures, said it should be possible to get the bailed-out banks to give a further payback to the State.
He said this could be done by donating buildings such as Bank of Ireland's College Green headquarters or handing over their extensive art collections. "The banks owe taxpayers vast amounts of money. That will have to be recouped over the coming years," he said.
Two years ago, Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan attempted to get control of Bank of Ireland's flagship branch on College Green. This was the location of the first Irish parliament until it was abolished with the Act of Union in 1801. It was sold to Bank of Ireland in 1803.
But Mr Deenihan had to admit defeat after Bank of Ireland said that the branch was "valuable to its shareholders".
The State's recovery of funds from the bailed-out banks will soon rise from €4bn to €6.3bn due to the forthcoming sale of insurer Irish Life for at least €1.3bn and the recent sale of capital in Bank of Ireland for around €1bn.
According to figures supplied by Finance Minister Michael Noonan, the State has pumped around €20.7bn in extra capital into AIB over the past five years to cover its enormous losses from reckless property lending.
It has put €4.7bn in capital into Bank of Ireland since 2008 and €4bn into Permanent TSB.
The state banking guarantee is due to be scrapped in June – but the Department of Finance has already budgeted for the resultant loss of hundreds of millions of euro in guarantee fees from the banks.
The State currently owns 99.8pc of AIB, 99pc of Irish Life and Permanent, and 15pc of Bank of Ireland. It has also had to spend more than €30bn on the Anglo and Irish Nationwide bailouts to date.