Saturday 16 December 2017

Bank of America reveals its €1.9bn exposure to Ireland

Emmet Oliver

The largest bank in the United States, Bank of America, has disclosed that it has a $2.7bn (€1.96bn) exposure to Ireland in the form of company loans and derivatives.

Figures released to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US show the lender's exposures to so-called peripheral Europe mainly arise in Ireland, Spain and Italy.

Details on how the bank has funded companies and banks in Ireland are not present in the filing, but the figures suggest the bank has lent almost nothing to the Irish Government, but its exposures appear to arise due to links with Irish-based companies and banks.

The bank has only a small amount of protection in place on its Irish exposures, with credit default swaps worth about $30m.

Bank of America has been asked by investors to outline its sovereign exposures to Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain. In total they come to $14.6bn.

Other banks, including HSBC, JP Morgan and the insurer Prudential, are among those who've outlined their Irish exposures in recent months.

The bank generally has been reducing its exposure to debt-ravaged European countries. (Additional reporting by Bloomberg)

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