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Department figures show €5bn deposits rise in bailed-out banks

THE Department of Finance yesterday published what it claims is the "most accurate snapshot" of deposits in the bailed-out banks and committed to producing the data every month.

The move marks part of a campaign by the Department of Finance to improve confidence in the rescued banks and create a clearer picture of how they are performing. The new data series, which shows a €5bn increase in bailed-out banks' core deposits in the last quarter of 2011, comes just days after the Central Bank of Ireland produced its bank-deposit statistics.

The Department of Finance figures are different because they're 'consolidated', so intergroup balances that inflate the Central Bank's version are netted out.

The finance data also includes deposits held by foreign branches of bailed-out banks -- these are excluded in the Central Bank numbers.

The Department of Finance data shows the 'covered banks' -- which include AIB, Permanent TSB, Bank of Ireland and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation -- had €147bn of customer deposits at the end of 2011. The net inflow of deposits was €2bn in December, €1.2bn in November, €1.7bn in October and €2.5bn in September.

Before that, the figures had been in continuous decline, so that the overall level of core deposits fell €8bn from January to December.

"It's certainly a useful series," Davy's banking analyst Emer Lang said yesterday, pointing out that it gave a more holistic view of the banks' situations by including deposits held by their overseas branches.

Bank of Ireland, for example, has significant deposits in its UK subsidiary; these are not counted in the Central Bank statistics.

Ms Lang said that it would be "helpful" if the Department of Finance could show precisely how its figures reconciled with those produced by the Central Bank.

Sources close to the Department of Finance said it was "unfortunately" not possible to reconcile the two since their information came from "completely different sources".

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