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Irish banks need Extra 24bn Euros to SURVIVE..IMF orders a Property Tax

Posted on: April 5, 2011

The Republic of Ireland’s banks need an extra 24bn euros (£21.2bn) to survive the financial crisis.

The figure follows a stress test on the Irish banking system by a group of independent experts and the country’s central bank.

Four lenders were tested – Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland, Educational Building Society (EBS) and the Irish Life & Permanent.

Allied Irish Banks needs most money, and will have to raise 13.5bn euros.

Bank of Ireland needs 5.2bn euros, EBS 1.5bn euros, and Irish Life 4bn euros.

The total amount poured into the Irish banks since the financial crisis will now be close to 70bn euros.

Professor Patrick Honohan, governor of the central bank, said: “The new requirements are needed to restore market confidence, and ensure banks have enough capital to meet even the markets’ darkest estimates.”

Dublin already owns most of Anglo Irish Bank, Allied Irish Banks and the EBS following previous rescues of the banks.

Mr Honohan said it was likely that, as part of the next infusion of funds, the other two banks to avoid nationalisation – Bank of Ireland and Irish Life & Permanent – would now have be taken into state control.

Money set aside from the 85bn euro EU-IMF bail-out agreed in November will be used to fund the latest recapitalisation.

The banks will be set six-monthly – unpublished – targets to reduce their huge borrowings over the next few years through a process of asset sales.

Mr Honohan said, however, that the banks should be able to avoid ‘fire sales’ that would cut the amount of money raised from disposals.

Marchel Alexandrovich, European financial economist at Jefferies International, said the results of the stress tests were what the financial markets expected.

“Nevertheless, our initial impression is that the question of whether this is enough will continue to linger,” he said.

He also pointed that there was no mention of how to treat the banks’ senior bondholders, who fear they may forced to incur greater losses on their loans.

Trading in the banks’ shares was suspended for the day pending the stress tests announcement.

The European Central Bank (ECB) had been expected to announce a new 60bn euros medium-term financing arrangement, to provide the Irish banks with a reliable source of cash.

Property tax on way within year

The Government has been ordered by the EU/IMF to impose a property tax on all homeowners within a year.

The controversial annual tax is expected to be announced in December’s Budget — even though it was not in the Programme for Government.

The imposition of the tax and the precise timeline for its roll-out are key requirements for Ireland to avail of the EU/IMF €85bn bailout package.

And the Department of the Environment confirmed that the tax will rise within a year of being introduced.

Details of how and when the so-called ‘site-valuation tax’ will be introduced and increased are in a briefing note prepared by civil servants for Environment Minister Phil Hogan. The document has been obtained by the Irish Independent.

Under the heading “EU/IMF requirements”, the document states that Ireland must “adopt a property tax by end Q4 (quarter 4) 2011”, adding that this tax must then be increased by the end of 2012.

The Fine Gael/Labour Programme for Government said only that such a tax would be “considered”.

Source

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