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Friday, November 19, 2010 11:51 AM

Run on Allied Irish Banks, Customers Pull 17% of Deposits; Ghost Estates and Broken Lives: the Human Cost of the Irish Crash

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A slow steady bleed has turned into a mad dash for cash at Allied Irish Banks. Allied Irish Banks has had to rely on Central Bank funding as customers withdraw $18 billion, a stunning 17 percent of its deposit base. Without Central Bank funding, there would indeed be outright panic.

Forbes reports Allied Irish says it's lost 17 percent of deposits

Allied Irish Banks announced Friday it has lost a staggering euro13 billion ($18 billion), or 17 percent, of its total deposit base since June in the latest evidence of cash flight from Ireland's debt-crippled banking sector.

Earlier this month two other banks, Bank of Ireland and Irish Life & Permament, reported suffering losses of more than 10 percent of deposits in recent months.

The cash flight from Irish banks has accelerated since September, when the government raised its estimated bill for bailing out five banks to at least euro45 billion ($62 billion), a figure that many analysts said was still too low.

Officials at Allied Irish said the bank had euro74 billion in customer deposits at the end of June but just euro61 billion today.

Allied Irish was once Ireland's largest business, but it has suffered a spectacular fall since 2008 in line with the collapse of a construction-dependent economy.
Property Boon Gone Bust Sinks Ireland

Read that last paragraph above once again. Note that unlike Greece which was destroyed by public unions, it was a property bubble and irresponsible bank lending that sunk Irish banks.

Ghost Estates and Broken Lives

Inquiring minds are reading Ghost estates and broken lives: the human cost of the Irish crash
They stand empty across Ireland: 300,000 unoccupied homes, a silent reproach to those who built them believing that the country's economic boom would never end. As Europe's finance ministers laboured in vain to reach an agreement on how to ease Ireland's economic misery last night, the so-called ghost estates were an awful reminder that the "survival crisis" the politicians were warning was under way had already hit ordinary people.

Dave O'Hara was one of those who bought into the "Celtic Tiger" at the beginning of the decade, eschewing a seven-generation family tradition of carving headstones in favour of a piece of the country's building boom. He founded a firm that constructed bespoke windows and doors for the thousands of upscale homes being built. The firm grew into a multimillion-euro enterprise, until the recession – and the collapse of the building industry – hit in September 2008.

Now his company is in liquidation, and Mr O'Hara, 41, who has one child, is on the dole. He owes the Bank of Scotland more than 1m Euros (£850,000).

Not far from Mr O'Hara's home, the "ghost estates" are well-known eyesores along the rugged landscape. And the crisis that created them has hit not just the people who built them, but those who might once have expected to move in, as well. Hundreds of thousands of homeowners have already found themselves saddled with negative equity as a result of the crash, economists estimate, with as many as one in seven families affected.

Personal indebtedness is also an issue, as are redundancy and the end of easy loans, meaning around 100,000 households are struggling to make regular repayments on the money they owe. And yet, house prices continue to fall precipitously. Together with slumping disposable incomes due to frozen wages and stubbornly high unemployment, still running at more than one in every eight adults of working age, many fear a social disaster is unfolding.
Operating Profits Down

For a bank that is clearly bankrupt and exists only because of life support from the central bank, it is interesting to see the headline Allied Irish Banks says operating profits down
Allied Irish Banks (AIB) said today that challenging economic and market conditions are reducing operating profits overall, and in each of the divisions, relative to the same period in 2009. There has been an outflow of €13bn worth of of deposits in 2010.

Excluding Poland, the loan to deposit ratio at 30th September was 159% compared to 151% at 30th June.

The bank said customer accounts have been affected by current adverse international sentiment towards the Irish sovereign and banking sector and are down by c.€13bn from the beginning of 2010 to the close of business on 16 November. This reduction was primarily due to lower institutional and corporate balances.

Operating income has declined year on year to 30th September 2010, mainly due to lower business volumes, an increase in Government guarantee costs of c.€190m and a lower net interest margin. The bank said factors reducing its net interest margin this year include lower capital income, lower treasury income, lower income on loans pending transfer to NAMA and higher wholesale funding costs. AIB said it is continuing to improve margins across non-NAMA loan portfolios and deposit margins, particularly in the Irish market, have stabilised in recent months.
Irish Taxpayers "Namatized"

For more on the situation in Ireland please see Hooray,ECB Saves Eurozone 2nd Time;Allied Irish Bonds Bid at 45% of Face Value, Anglo Irish SubDebt has 99.99% Default Odds;Irish Citizens "Namatized"

Allied Irish Banks Weekly Chart

That's quite the trip from $45 to 72 cents to $10.42 then back down to 76 cents. Shares have rallied in recent days on rumors of a bailout of Irish banks by the ECB and IMF. See the previous link for details too numerous to repeat.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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