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Lose, lose is win, win for big banks

JSince the bank bailout at the end of 2008, AIB has declared cumulative pre-tax losses of just over €20bn, while Bank of Ireland's figure is €5.6bn. But this week both banks announced some highly encouraging news.

AIB lost €1.7bn in 2013, while Bank of Ireland did even better, losing a trifling €569m. BoI boss Richie Boucher (inset) congratulating his company on this performance, saying how "2013 was a year of further substantial progress".

It's no wonder that so many Irish businesses are finding it hard to get bank loans. Why can't they follow the example of those in charge of lending money and stop complaining about the recession?

Four years after the bailout, our two biggest banks have shown struggling companies how it's done, and have lost only €2.2bn between them in a year.

Oh, hang on . . .