Monday 20 November 2017

This is a stressful time for all involved

More than the banks may need stress-testing by the time this is over. The Government, its honeymoon cruelly cut short by the Moriarty Report, faces the prospect of complete nationalisation of the banking system; a large injection of public money into the banks; and still no contribution from the bondholders who lent the banks money.

This is not what people were led to believe would happen under the Coalition parties. Many of their election promises were wishful thinking and cold reality must now be faced. It would come as no surprise if the Government is looking for ways to put a better shine on tomorrow's announcements, but it must be careful that the search for political cover does not harm the purpose of the exercise.

As things stand, the only bank which might conceivably escape majority state ownership is Bank of Ireland. The projected losses on tracker mortgages and "buy-to-let" loans mean Permanent TSB, which has not yet received public funds, will need some €2bn, bringing it under government control.

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