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Bank of Ireland announces €3 billion loss

Bank of Ireland has today reported a €3 billion loss in the first nine months of the financial year after being forced to write down difficult loans by around €4 billion. The company, which is a major component of the struggling Irish financial sector, has also confirmed a need to raise around €2.7 billion to firm up the company's balance sheet and secure its short to medium term future.

Even though chief executive Richie Boucher indicated that loan write-downs may have peaked in the first nine months of the financial year, there is concern about the overall state of the financial sector in Ireland. Yesterday the authorities announced a €20 billion injection into the sector and the creation of a "bad bank" which will take the strain of toxic lending currently held by a number of struggling finance houses.

While there is no doubt that government intervention yesterday will impact upon confidence within the financial sector, many believe that the Irish economy still has some way to go to pull clear of this crushing recession and very damaging economic downturn. There is still talk in the background of a potential financial bailout from the EU although so far these rumours have been denied by all parties involved.

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