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Noonan may remove guarantee for banks

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan is contemplating ending the controversial bank guarantee at the end of the year.

The current guarantee, which was introduced three years ago, expires at the end of December and the minister told a Dail committee that he may not press to renew the guarantee. But he said that he would decide on the issue in the coming weeks.

He emphasised that bonds which are already guaranteed under the scheme would still be guaranteed to be repaid by the Government even if the scheme was not renewed.

The minister said there are signs of stabilisation in the bank sector that bode well for a return to normal practice but he hinted that the guarantee may have to be reinstated.