Ireland's deposit guarantee causes stir

Oct. 1, 2008 at 6:59 PM

DUBLIN, Ireland, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Ireland's move to guarantee all national bank deposits has other European countries scrambling to level the financial playing field.

France is considering copying the Irish and European regulators are investigating whether Ireland's move to guarantee $400 billion in savings and loans held by six of its largest financial institutions for two years constitutes anti-competitive behavior, The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.

Britain has brought the issue up with the European Union.

"We just want the Irish government to look quite closely at the arrangements they are putting in place to make sure they comply with EU competition law," a spokesman for Prime Minister Gordon Brown said.

EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said she was communicating with Irish officials.

Bankers contend European governments and regulators will now have either copy the Irish model or exert pressure on Ireland to rescind its actions.

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