Tuesday 20 March 2018

Germany contributed just 1pc of pre-bailout lending

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Just 1pc of international lending to Irish banks came from Germany in 2007, the year before the banking crisis struck, according to research from economists Dermot Coates and Mary Everett at the Central Bank.

The economists looked at the sources for the surge in foreign lending to Irish banks between 2002 and 2008 and concluded that Germany's banks did not lend vast amounts of money to their Irish counterparts.

In 2007, Germany was the source of 1pc, or €1bn, of total foreign funding for the Irish bank system, according to the research, which is based on figures from the Bank of International Settlements.

The UK was the predominant source of foreign bank funds in the period, providing as much as 77pc of foreign funding for the banks here in the period running up to the crash.

It was followed by the US (15pc) and offshore centres including Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Channel Islands, which between them provided 5pc of cross-border cash, the study shows.


The data appears to undermine claims that Germany contributed to the Irish bailout to protect its own lenders.

It also suggests that the advent of the euro did not lead to a substantial inflow of cash into Ireland from the rest of the eurozone.

However, the economists involved in the study admitted the figures may be skewed by the so-called City of London effect

The Bank of International Settlements figures that the study is based on do not break down funding sources to "look through the veil" at the original sources of money that came to the banks here.

It means the study does not reflect the extent to which finance sourced by Irish banks in London, New York and from off-shore financial services centres may have originated elsewhere.

The study on 'Profiling the Cross Border Funding of the Irish Banking System' is published in the form of a so-called "Economic Letter" from the staff at the Central Bank.

Irish Independent

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business