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Announcement:

Moody's: Ireland's banking system outlook remains negative

29 Jan 2013

London, 29 January 2013 -- The outlook for Ireland's banking system remains negative, says Moody's Investors Service in a new Banking System Outlook published today. The outlook is unchanged since 2008 and principally reflects the rating agency's view that the Irish banking system has not yet fully stabilised, despite (1) the removal of large real-estate portfolios from the banks' balance sheets into the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) in 2010 and 2011; and (2) the marginally positive, but still weak, GDP growth that we expect to continue in 2013.

The system outlook also captures Moody's view that Irish banks will remain under pressure over the next 12 to 18 months due to (1) ongoing asset-quality deterioration, more recently stemming from poor residential mortgage loan performance; (2) their continued, albeit reducing, dependence on central bank funding; and (3) weak profitability and internal capital generation.

The new report, entitled "Banking System Outlook: Ireland", is now available on www.moodys.com. Moody's subscribers can access this report via the link provided at the end of this press release.

As noted in "Credit Analysis: Ireland, Government of" (November 14, 2012) Moody's expects the Irish economy to grow at a slower pace in 2012 and 2013 (at 0.2% and 1.1% respectively), following GDP growth of 1.4% in 2011 [Source: Moody's Sovereign Risk Group]. The country's growth prospects remain weak due to the fiscal consolidation process, the ongoing deleveraging in the private sector, and subdued external demand. Additional factors that will exacerbate the banks' challenging operating environment and constrain a return to banking stability are the uncertain economic outlook for key trading partners (especially the UK and the euro area), and the ongoing euro area crisis.

Moody's expects bank asset quality to remain weak, because it will likely take the banks several more years to fully resolve the legacy issues from the crisis. Although the vast bulk of the land and development loans were transferred to NAMA, arrears remain high on the remaining property exposures. The asset quality of the banks' residential mortgage books will also remain very weak, although Moody's recognises that increases in arrears are beginning to slow.

Ongoing liquidity support from the ECB remains vital for the banks. The removal of the extraordinary guarantee (ELG) for deposits over EUR100,000, expected in H1 2013, will provide further evidence of the system's recovery process and although the removal of the ELG could lead to some deposit outflows, Moody's does not expect that these will be substantial. In addition, Moody's says that profitability across the sector is likely to remain negative or low during the next few years, further supporting the negative outlook, due to (1) sustained high levels of provisions; (2) high funding costs; (3) lower top-line revenues due to muted demand and low interest rates; and (4) the high proportion of low yielding "tracker mortgages" tied to ECB rates.

Subscribers can access this report via this link: http://www.moodys.com/research/Banking-System-Outlook-Ireland--PBC_149051

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS ONLY: For more information, please call one of our global press information hotlines: London +44-20-7772-5456, New York +1-212-553-0376, Tokyo +813-5408-4110, Hong Kong +852-3758-1350, Sydney +61-2-9270-8141, Mexico City 001-888-779-5833, São Paulo 0800-891-2518, or Buenos Aires 0800-666-3506. You can also email us at mediarelations@moodys.com or visit our web site at www.moodys.com.

Ross?Abercromby
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Johannes Wassenberg
MD - Banking
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's: Ireland's banking system outlook remains negative
No Related Data.
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