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Our banks hit rock bottom in new rating

IRISH banks are lagging behind Greece and Iceland at the bottom of a league table for competitiveness, a worldwide survey has found.

In a further blow to our troubled institutions, the Global Competitiveness Report found that banks here are among the worst in the world.

The findings by experts from the World Economic Forum may not be overly surprising but the fact that we come behind troubled Greece and Iceland will raise a few eyebrows.

According to the survey, Irish institutions also rank very poorly in terms of access to loan charts. Out of 139 countries in the "soundness of banks" assessment, Ireland came 117th for lending ability.

In terms of overall competitiveness, we have fallen four places to 29th in the 2010-11 report. The summary comes as the public continues to wait for the Financial Regulator and the Government to place a final figure on the cost of bailing out Anglo Irish Bank. Anglo's chief executive has now said that the final sum could reach €30bn, significantly more than the original estimate of €25bn.

Mike Aynsley believes that the smaller amount would have been achievable if the nationalised institution was split into a "good bank/bad bank" as was proposed by management.


However, that idea was rejected by the Government, who are trying to work a system for developing a deposit bank and a recovery bank.

Under the plan, Anglo will separate its deposit book from its loan book but will cease to lend into the future. It is seen as a way of creating an orderly wind-down over 15 years.

Anglo had previously warned that a long-term wind-down could cost €30bn. And last night, Mr Aynsley said that the huge estimate is now likely to become a reality.