€10 billion recapitalisation programme for Irish banks

The programme is intended to "ensure the long-term sustainability of the banking sector in Ireland and to underpin its contribution through the availability of credit to individuals and businesses in the real economy", the Department of Finance said in a statement issued on Monday.

Full details of the plan are yet to be disclosed, but the government intends to purchase either preference shares or ordinary shares, and might also underwrite issues of new shares.

Funding for institutions will be assessed on an individual basis "having regard to the systemic importance of the institution". Participating banks will include Anglo Irish Bank, Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, Irish Nationwide, Permanent TSB and the Educational Building Society, with representatives from these firms expected to meet with finance minister Brian Lenihan at the end of this week.

Participating institutions may be required to comply with transparency and commercial conduct requirements.

The government is considering using capital from the National Pension Reserve Fund, a fund established in 2000 to build up assets, which will part-finance the cost of social welfare and public service pensions from 2025 onwards. The government decided in July 2007 to set aside 1% of Ireland's gross national product each year for the fund.

Monday's announcement is additional to the government guarantee scheme introduced on September 30, which provides a guaranteed safeguard for all deposits, covered bonds, senior debt and dated subordinated debt of the six financial institutions partaking in Monday's recapitalisation programme. The scheme will run for two years from September 29, 2008 to September 28, 2010.

See also: Greece follows Ireland's lead in savings guarantees

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