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Banks enjoying private profits and public bailouts 'unrealistic'

IT IS "completely and utterly unrealistic" for banks to believe they can enjoy private profits and public bailouts, one of the most senior figures in the European Banking Authority told an Irish conference yesterday.

The stark warning from EBA alternate chairman Thomas Huertas come as Ireland continues to reel from revelations that the banks could need another €24bn in public cash.

But former Taoiseach and current IFSC tsar John Bruton struck a more upbeat tone, insisting that the time had come for Ireland to "get over it" and move away from the "blame game".

And Ann Cairns, a senior executive at banks restructuring specialists Alvarez & Marsal, said the Irish banks would be "phenomenally strong" after the latest bailout.

The trio were speaking at the Federation of International Banks in Ireland (FIBI) national conference yesterday.

Mr Huertas, who's also a director of banking at the UK's Financial Services Authority (FSA), used his address to launch an attack against the bailout trend during the crisis.

"It is a completely and utterly unrealistic position for banks to believe that they can have private profits and social losses," he stressed. Mr Huertas also criticised the banks for failing to engage with regulators to create structures that would allow failing banks to be wound down in an orderly manner.

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