Belfast Telegraph

Europe approves aid for Irish banks

Emergency state aid for three Irish banks has been approved by the European Commission.

Brussels authorised recapitalisations of 4.96 billion euro for Anglo Irish, 2.7 billion euro for Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS) and up to 9.8 billion euro for Allied Irish Bank.

A Commission statement said the emergency measures did not prejudice any future decisions expected next year on the restructuring of Allied Irish, or on "orderly resolution" for Anglo Irish and INBS.

The final decision on Allied Irish will depend on the Commission being satisfied that the bank will be commercially viable in the long term without further injections of taxpayers' money and with a "significant contribution" by the bank's shareholders, the statement went on.

EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said that despite the "profound" difficulties being faced by the Irish banking sector, the Commission would continue applying EU state aid rules to the support Irish banks are receiving.

He continued: "The measures approved are necessary to ensure that these institutions meet their respective obligations and will help to preserve financial stability in Ireland."

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