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Other banks provide far healthier options for nationalisation – Morgan

16 January, 2009


Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has said a state bank is imperative to move our banking culture away from property speculation to a more responsible, small to medium sized indigenous business orientated system. However Deputy Morgan said Anglo Irish Bank is the wrong bank to nationalise as it is on of the most financially unhealthy and corrupt banks in Western Europe. He said the Government would be far better off nationalising a bank that deals primarily in mortgages and small and medium business loans.

Speaking today Deputy Morgan said, "Sinn Féin supports the idea of a national bank and has for a number of months been calling for a major state banking institution to be established to kick start the Irish economy. A state bank is imperative to move our banking culture away from property speculation to a more responsible, small to medium sized indigenous business orientated system.

"However, there are many questions that need to be answered before Sinn Féin could support the nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank. There is a total lack of information over the state of Anglo's assets and liabilities. We still do not know the level of bad debts in Anglo's loan book or to whom they have been made. Anglo Irish Bank is one of the most financially unhealthy and corrupt banks Western Europe so why should Irish tax-payers take on this burden without full information in relation to the reliability exposure involved. It will be the tax payer who will have to foot the bill and it could have serous consequences for our national debt.

"Any nationalisation must be done for the benefit of Irish tax payers, workers and the long term health of our economy. There are other banks that would provide much healthier options for nationalisation. Given the difficulties that small and medium businesses are experiencing in accessing credit and the crisis in mortgages the Government would be far better off nationalising one of the banks that deals primarily in these markets.

"The corrupt culture of Irish banking is clear for all see. The property based lending policies, which Fianna Fáil and banking officials promoted for the benefit of their pals in property development has left our banks heavily exposed. Practically all of Anglo's entire €72 billion loan book was based on loans to developers. As the property bubble has burst not only does it seem that dodgy builders are the only ones who will benefit from nationalising Anglo but that the risks to the tax payer could be huge." ENDS

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