Irish banks lose €70bn in deposits

BANK customers have withdrawn more than €70bn in deposits from Ireland's financial institutions within the past year.

The data revealed by the Central Bank shows that banks here lost €69.5bn of deposits between the start of 2010 and the end of November. And it is anticipated that additional outflows are likely to have occurred in December, putting 2010's total deposits exodus at well over €70bn.

The data outlines transactions at approximately 20 "domestic credit institutions", incorporating the traditional Irish banks plus foreign players with Irish retail operations such as KBC, Rabobank and Northern Rock.

Companies and savers outside the euro area were by far the main contributors to the deposit collapse. These depositors closed November with just €155bn in Irish banks, sharply down from their €202bn in deposits at the start of 2010.

The €47bn flight in non-euro deposits was particularly centred around two key periods -- between February, March and April about €16m in deposits were pulled, and between September, October and November about €38bn was withdrawn.

Deposits from Irish residents fell €13bn to €297bn in the 11 months to November.

But the figures outline that the fall was led by private-sector depositors, who took €16bn of their cash out of Irish banks.

In November alone, more than €6bn was withdrawn.

Irish financial institutions' deposits in other institutions rose over the 11-month period, as did deposits held by the Government.