FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan has said the State will eventually recoup the billions that it pumped into the main banks through bailout funding.
The Government is planning to sell Allied Irsh Banks and has hired investment bank Goldman Sachs to advise it.
If economic conditions continue to improve, Mr Noonan believes that the €29.4bn pumped into AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB since the banking crisis could be returned to the state.
A total of €64bn was pumped into the banks since the sector collapsed.
Mr Noonan added that the current government invested just under €18bn in the three viable banks.
"If economic and trading conditions continue to improve over the next decade or so, the cash returned to the State combined with the value of any remaining shareholding may exceed the funds invested," Mr Noonan said in an opinion piece, written in the Irish Times,
While it is planning to get the cost of bailing out AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB, this would leave the taxpayer cost of Anglo Iriish Bank and Irish Nationwide at €35bn.
A move to either float or sell a stake in AIB will come later this year and will be key to recouping the cost of bailing out that bank, Mr Noonan said.
Already €5bn has been returned to Government coffers from the sale of stakes in Bank of Ireland and Irish Life.
If conditions continue to improve, Mr Noonan believes that the €29.4bn pumped into AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB since the banking crisis could be returned to the state.
Mr Noonan said that, at a minimum, the €18bn invested in the three remaining banks could be recouped.
However, that means the €35bn pumped into Anglo and Nationwide is lost.
And there was no mention of the Government getting money back through EU investment funds - that kind of retrospective bank debt deal was widely flagged in the past.