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Mar, 2010

Pressure is mounting on AIB boss Colm Doherty in the wake of last year’s €2.65bn pre-tax loss, with most of the Sunday newspapers taking a cut at the performance of the bank and its dismal prospects.

The Sunday Independent’s business section quotes the findings of an international research firm, Credit Sights, who believe next year’s losses could top €3bn and senior analyst Simon Adamson’s view that AIB’s loan book is “the worst in Europe”.

“From my experience, you have to go back to the Nordic banking crisis of the 1990s to see comparable levels of impaired loans in a big bank as you see in AIB today,” he says.

The news doesn’t get any better for Doherty in The Sunday Tribune, where columnist Eamon Quinn points out that the current AIB chief – who only started his new job in December – cannot distance himself from the mess the bank now finds itself in.

“Twenty years after joining AIB, a decade running its Capital Markets division and seven years as its main board director, Colm Doherty, Ireland’s leading banking insider, secured the top banking job in this country,” Quinn points out, labelling Doherty “the ultimate insider”.

The fallout from the decision made by Doherty and his fellow directors continue to affect everyone, of course.

The Sunday Times reports that AIB is preparing to transfer €144m of its home loans into NAMA, a graphic illustration of the extent to which commercial property developers and builders came to dominate the bank’s loan portfolio.

“The top 50 borrowers of the bank, across all companies and sectors, owed €20bn at the end of 2009,” business editor Brian Carey reports. “Of this a total of €11.2bn, more than 55.5%, related to property developments and will be passed to NAMA.”

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