DUBLIN, March 1 Ireland would like a
"significant" new bank with a big balance sheet to enter its
lending market this year to drive competition in the diminished
sector, finance minister Michael Noonan said on Saturday.
In his speech at Fine Gael party's annual conference, Noonan
said that he would like to see a third viable bank, a "third
significant player", in the country.
"We are talking about a bank with a big balance sheet... I'm
exploring it. I know there are people interested. In the course
of this year, it would be nice to get these things done before
Noonan added that he absolutely wanted permanent tsb
, currently the third-largest domestic-owned lender in
the country behind Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish
Banks, to remain part of the banking sector.