Banks' foreign claims fall to €106bn
Irish banks had foreign claims totalling €106bn at the end of March 2013, a €7bn decline on the previous quarter, according to figures from the Central Bank.
The foreign claims are the claims domestic banks have on non-residents who act as guarantor. The Central Bank said that the fall in foreign claims was driven by a decline in claims on foreign private sectors, which declined 6pc, or €5.3bn, in the quarter.
Domestic banks' claims on foreign credit institutions also fell in the first three months of the year, by 16pc, or €2bn, while claims on public sectors rose 2.8pc, or €346m, in the period.
"The decline over the quarter means that the domestic banks' foreign claims have decreased by 20pc since end-March 2012," said the Central Bank. "The annual reduction in total foreign claims is expected, given that the domestic banking groups continue to downsize their operations abroad."
The domestic banks' largest foreign claims are on the UK (including Northern Ireland), with exposures of €78bn located there at the end of March.
Foreign claims on the UK decreased by 7.2pc in the quarter. Claims on UK credit institutions fell 37.7pc, while claims on the UK private sector and the UK public sector decreased by 5.5pc and 5.4pc respectively.