The banks: at our service
THE country does not need any more mixed signals from the Government about how it intends to deal with the banks. Yet it appears that, where lending to business is concerned, there is more than one hymn sheet.
The Tanaiste says that she and her officials are looking at the feasibility of a State guarantee scheme for bank loans to small- and medium-sized businesses.
This aspiration appears to contradict the Department of Finance's approach, as stated by a senior official two weeks ago. The view then was that the taxpayer could not be expected to further bail out banks which had already benefited from liability guarantees, capital injections and the National Asset Management Agency strategy.