Anglo confirms €17.7bn losses
Anglo Irish Bank has announced losses of €17.7bn ahead of stress tests which will uncover the full extent of the black hole across the Irish banking system.
The nationalised lender's massive shortfall last year includes impairment charges of €7.8bn and a loss of €11.5bn on loans taken over by the State's toxic assets agency.
The losses are the worst on record in Irish corporate history, and slightly higher than predicted last month.
The bank has so far cost the taxpayer almost €30bn in recapitalisation.
The losses were announced ahead of the Central Bank's publication of forensic stress tests which will expose losses across other banks, including Allied Irish Bank (AIB), Bank of Ireland, Irish Life and Permanent (IL&P) and the EBS building society.
It is expected they will need about another €30bn to remain in business.
Most of the loan losses caused by reckless lending to now-broke property developers have been identified, but the skeleton in the closet is mortgage arrears.
More than 44,000, or 5.7pc of homeowners, are at least three months behind with their mortgages - valued at a colossal €8.6bn.
Trading in Bank of Ireland and AIB shares has been suspended for the day by the Irish Stock Exchange amid fears speculation on the stress test results could create disorder in the markets.