Friday 20 October 2017

Winding up Anglo will not benefit the taxpayer, says Lenihan

Joe Brennan

THE Minister for Finance has stuck doggedly to the line that Anglo Irish should not be wound up immediately, as the bank prepares to file a revised restructuring plan with Brussels at the end of May.

Speaking in the Dail yesterday, Mr Lenihan said: "I do not see the prospect of an immediate wind-up, which is earnestly desired by large segments of the population, as being of benefit to the taxpayer."

He also insisted that he does "not have a preferred option to the future of Anglo", and that his only concern is to minimise the cost to the taxpayer.

"The plan will examine all options for the bank's future including immediate liquidation, wind-down over a longer period of time, a split between a good bank and an asset management company, and maintaining the bank in its current form as a going concern," Mr Lenihan said.

He said significant further work remains to be done by the bank and its advisers on the plan, and rejected calls from Fine Gael finance spokesman Richard Bruton for details to be made public as "not appropriate" while it is still a draft.

Costings

"I have no plans, therefore, to give full details of the worked costings of the options regarding the future of Anglo Irish Bank at this time," he said.

The EU will publish "all information pertinent to the decision, subject only to an objective assessment on the commercial sensitivity and confidentiality of the information," he added.

Meanwhile, Mr Lenihan confirmed that "work is under way" in his department on framing legislation that would enable a faltering bank to be seized and wound down if necessary. It is expected the legislation will give significant new powers to the Central Bank.

"It is complex legislation. The United Kingdom succeeded in drawing up legislation but, in many respects, the implications of it have been found to be unsatisfactory,"

The UK Banking Act 2009 is designed to deal with failing banks, including new insolvency and administration procedures.

Irish Independent

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