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IRISH NATIONWIDE

Among the detritus of newspaper column inches devoted to the Anglo Irish Bank saga, the most interesting is the lead article in The Sunday Business Post which states the European Commission is preparing to trigger the closure of Irish Nationwide by vetoing its plan to reinvent itself as a mortgage and savings provider.

The move echoes similar treatment of Anglo Irish last week when the commission banned it from new lending. The Irish Nationwide building society is expected to begin its wind-down process after it completes the transfer of its €8 billion commercial property portfolio to NAMA over the coming months.

The report also notes the government now expects the total cost to the taxpayer of the Anglo Irish debacle can be held at less than €30 billion – significantly below the previous guestimates by domestic and international pundits.  However, this is still €6 billion above the government’s previous best guess of €24 billion.

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