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Bank takeover plans were ready 'early in 2008'


Former Central Bank governor John Hurley

Former Central Bank governor John Hurley

Former Central Bank governor John Hurley

Emergency legislation to nationalise one of the country's six main banks was prepared months before the Bank Guarantee in 2008, former Central Bank Governor John Hurley has said.

In correspondence to the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry, Mr Hurley said the question of nationalisation "had already arisen earlier in the year".

"It was decided that draft legislation to nationalise a financial institution should be prepared," he wrote in his letter to the inquiry.

The Banking Inquiry heard previously that former Finance Minister, the late Brian Lenihan, had argued in favour of nationalising Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide on the night the Government decided to introduce the €440bn Bank Guarantee.

He also said that he cannot recall any financial institution asking him for a "full guarantee" in the run-up to September 29.

The letter, published yesterday by the inquiry, also states that Mr Hurley was not aware of any such request being made to any other officers at the Central Bank or the Financial Regulator.

However, he added that it was possible that guarantees could have been mentioned during meetings with banks after the collapse of Northern Rock.

The inquiry is moving to draft its final report, but remains deeply divided on what conclusions should be reached.

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