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News : Irish Economy Last Updated: Mar 25, 2011 - 5:03 AM

Central Bank says Irish domestic banks’ foreign claims down 6.5% to €194bn in Q4 2010; UK and US account for 71%
By Finfacts Team
Mar 24, 2011 - 1:35 PM

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The Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) today published updated statistics on the domestic Irish banking system’s claims on the rest of the world and said domestic banks’ foreign claims/exposures were down 6.5% to €194bn in Q4 2010.

These consolidated banking statistics detail the claims of the domestic banks on non-Irish residents, by counterpart country and sector on an ultimate risk basis i.e. according to the country and sector where the ultimate guarantor of the risk resides. This is a similar dataset to the consolidated banking statistics published by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) but differs in that the CBI dataset refers only to the domestic Irish banks - - Allied Irish Bank, Anglo Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, Educational Building Society, Irish Life and Permanent, Irish Nationwide Building Society.

The CBI said at end-December 2010, the domestic banks had foreign exposures of €194bn. By far the largest share of domestic banks’ claims is on UK private sector residents, with private sector residents of the US also accounting for a significant proportion.

Claims on foreign private sectors are largest, with claims on foreign public sectors being relatively low. Total foreign claims have declined by 7% or almost €14bn since end-September 2010, and 34% or almost €100bn from the September 2008 peak. The reduction in total foreign claims is as expected as the domestic banking groups are making significant reductions in their international activities. This trend is likely to persist with the continuing downsizing and retrenchment into the Irish market of the domestic banks.

In the quarter ending December 2010, 81% of foreign claims were on the non-bank private sector, 15% were on credit institutions, and just 4% were foreign claims on public sectors. There was a decline in foreign claims to all sectors since end-September 2010. Claims on public sectors declined 19%, falling by €2bn, on credit institutions they dropped 11%, by €4bn, and claims on private sectors fell 5%, by €8bn.

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