We got further bad news on the banking front with the departure from this country of the Lloyds bank controlled Bank of Scotland. They arrived late in the boom, took too many lending risks like Anglo Irish Bank and have had huge real estate loan losses. This time, it is not the Irish tax payer who is taking the hit but UK tax payer as Lloyds is majority owned by the UK Government. They have had enough of the bad Irish economy and are cutting their losses. Waterford city is one of the locations that will lose its branch.
This is contrary to what they said when they closed Halifax earlier in the year and has misled a number of their customers. How will they be able to find new banking facilities given the current difficult lending environment with the Irish owned banks? The Irish government should ask them to defer their decision for another six months and give their clients, now in the lurch, time to secure alternative lending facilities.
The Irish Hotels Federation will be especially concerned as the hotel industry is in a tough situation and many find banking already difficult without having to seek a new bank for their business.
Last week, on the Joe Duffy Radio Show on RTE 1, employers and employees vented their frustrations at how Government regulation is closing down businesses with mandatory overtime payments for weekend work and forced joblessness. One hotelier had to close after losing money for five years when he thought the hotel move would have been good to provide jobs and put something back into the community during the boom times. There is a great chorus of right-thinking people asking for reform and change in labour regulation.
Will the politicians listen? In the meantime the black hole of Anglo Irish Bank seems to swallow up more money. It really is time to wind it down and say stop. We cannot afford these debts on the back of the State.
Foreign lenders see the Irish government’s debt grow and, surely, we cannot absorb any more without more dire consequences on our long term future.
Someone needs to tell Finance Minister, Brian Lenihan, after his Beal na Blath speech that enough is enough. He reckons if we do not keep filling up the Anglo black hole, we will become a pariah state in the Euro zone. Is he losing himself in his own propaganda? Why should it be his and the government’s call only? Do the people not have a say whether or not we mortgage the future any more?
Is it over use of executive power? Put money into the real economy like putting money into the banking system through assisting AIB and others and getting liquidity going again. It is really needed now to kick-start the economy again. The Opposition should come up with alternatives to this current stalemate.
The clamour on the Joe Duffy Show, where people in the real world spoke, was heart wrenching as young people tried to upgrade skills from apprenticeships but could not due to regulation. They want to leave the country and will work for free to get the experience to go away. That surely is a huge indictment on our leaders.