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Friday 20 January 2017

Irish debt nightmare for UK banks

Published 15/06/2010 | 05:00

Banks based in the UK have by far the largest exposure to Irish debt, according to new figures released yesterday.

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Statistics from the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) show Ireland has total outstanding debt of nearly $626bn (€510bn).

UK-based banks hold nearly $232bn of this, while US banks -- which have the second highest exposure -- hold $95bn. The figures have added to concerns in the UK about the exposure of the country's banks -- the report also shows that British banks hold around $150bn of Spanish debt.

The details were published in the latest BIS Quarterly Review, which also describes the recent €750bn European rescue package as having "bought a temporary reprieve from contagion in euro sovereign debt markets, but market concerns about the economic outlook remain".

Overall, Irish banks have outstanding claims of $871bn, nearly half of which is against Germany and Britain. This figure, however, includes debt owed to non-Irish banks that are headquartered in the IFSC and don't affect the exchequer.

Last month, BIS figures showed that Irish banks were exposed to over €6bn worth of Greek debt. However, the Government said that excluding IFSC banks the real exposure to Irish domestic banks was more like €40m.

Irish Independent

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