Lenders on deadline to submit restructure plans to EU
Anglo, Nationwide report with EC to meet banking bailout timeframe
RESTRUCTURING plans for Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide were submitted to the European Commission (EC) at the eleventh hour last night, enabling Ireland to meet the first banking deadline of its bailout package.
At 6pm Brussels time, European Commission sources said the plan had still not arrived.
Sources at the Department of Finance last night confirmed the plans would be dispatched to Brussels by the end of the night.
Under the terms of Ireland's €85bn European and International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout, plans to wind down both banks had to be submitted to the EC by last night.
The plan for Nationwide was agreed at a board meeting on Thursday and then submitted to the Department of Finance, a spokeswoman said yesterday.
A spokeswoman for Anglo, which is headed by chief executive officer Mike Aynsley and chairman Alan Dukes, declined to comment, but it is understood that the bank's plan was also submitted to the department in recent days.
Limited contact between the department and both banks took place yesterday, before the plans were sent to Brussels for approval.
A spokeswoman for the EC's competition division declined to comment on the likely timeframe for a decision on the plan, but the Commission is expected to act swiftly.
The plan involves off-loading about €16bn of deposits from Anglo and Irish Nationwide to the healthier Irish banks.
The institutions' €39bn loan book will be wound down over a number of years, either through a merged entity or through a mooted 'NAMA 2' that would work out loans from several banks.
The Government is believed to be keen to minimise job losses across Anglo, which employs about 1,000 staff, and Nationwide, which has a headcount of 450.
Some staff are expected to move across to the banks that take over Anglo and Irish Nationwide's deposits, under transfer of undertakings legislation.
Hundreds of jobs are expected to be lost, however, as duplicated functions like IT and administration are rationalised and the institutions' loan books are wound down.