Friday 22 February 2019

Lenihan defends use of NPRF funds to prop up banks

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan. Photo: STR, Getty Images
Finance Minister Brian Lenihan. Photo: STR, Getty Images

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan has defended his decision to use money from the National Pension Reserve Fund to recapitalise Ireland's three main banks.

The Government announced last night that it would be pumping ?2bn each into both AIB and Bank of Ireland and another ?1.5bn into Anglo Irish Bank.

In return, the State will take 75% control of Anglo Irish and a 25% stake in AIB and Bank of Ireland.

Shares in AIB were up 26% by 1pm, while Bank of Ireland shares were up 42%.

Shares in Anglo Irish, however, have slumped by around 23%.

A number of leading contributors have criticised the scheme as a massive waste of taxpayers' money, but Mr Lenihan is insisting that it is a good idea to invest NPRF funds in the Irish banking system.

He says the funding boost for the banks will help "to keep jobs going, to keep people in their homes, to allow people buy motor cars and to do all the other things that we need to do in our economy".

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