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Anglo is officially the worst

IT'S official! Anglo Irish Bank is the worst bank in the world.

The bank, which lost €15bn last year, has taken a world record by posting the worst losses of any bank on the planet, according to new statistics from financial journal The Banker.

The list of the 25 biggest losers also includes AIB, in 11th place with losses of €3.1bn. But Bank of Ireland and Irish Nationwide have managed to avoid the list altogether.

Anglo managed to lose more money last year than the next two biggest losers put together. Its €15bn debt far outstripped the losses of giant US, Japanese and German banks.

The taxpayer-owned Anglo Irish Bank, which was nationalised in January of last year, had already set an Irish record with its 2009 figures, when it posted the largest losses ever by an Irish company. Now it seems it has also taken a world record.

The scale of the losses at Anglo are made clear by a comparison with some of the others on the list.

Royal Bank of Scotland, for example, one of the largest banks in the world, lost only a quarter of what Anglo lost last year, the survey reveals.

US lender Citigroup, once the world's largest bank, only lost half of what Anglo lost in 2009, despite taking a massive hit during the subprime crisis.

Most of the 25 banks surveyed lost money because of the subprime crisis, whereas Anglo's losses came from property lending.

The only mitigation for Anglo is that the 2009 results, which set all the records, covered 15 months, rather than the standard 12.

But even on a 12-month basis the bank would have finished up number one.