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BoI beefs up business lending team -- in Paris

BANK of Ireland is expanding its business lending team, but in Paris rather than at home in Ireland, the Irish Independent has learned.

The bank has hired three new staff at its Paris office to work as part of its European leveraged finance and acquisition finance team.

The specialist corporate lending team has close to 100 staff, with offices in the US, France and Germany as well as in the UK and Ireland.

Acquisition finance is regarded as a core business by Bank of Ireland, meaning it was not slashed following the banking crisis, when most overseas operations of Irish banks were sold off or closed in an effort to reduce costs or to raise money to pay off debt.

The latest Paris hires include two new positions and a replacement of a former staff member, a spokesman for Bank of Ireland said.

Credit flow

News that the bank is beefing up its lending capacity outside Ireland is sure to rattle business leaders in the home market, who are demanding a better flow of credit from all of the bailed-out banks.

Bank of Ireland's global acquisition finance team is best known in the financial markets for backing syndicated loan deals for private equity deals, particularly in the food sector.

Earlier this month, GE Capital, which competes in the same space, poached Ralph Betz, formerly head of Bank of Ireland's leveraged team in Germany.

Irish Independent