April 1, 2011 / 7:49 AM / 8 years ago

ECB has given Ireland serious commitment-Fin Min

DUBLIN, April 1 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank’s decision to suspend collateral requirements for loans to Irish banks is a serious commitment over the medium term, Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said on Friday.

“The best we can hope for is the commitment last night to continue to lend to Ireland at 1 percent,” Noonan told state broadcaster RTE.

“That is a serious commitment in writing from the European Central Bank that is going to keep the banks going forward.”

Noonan said he expected rating agencies to downgrade Irish bank debt in the aftermath of stress tests on Thursday that showed they needed an additional 24 billion euros to bullet proof their balance sheets against future shocks.

Reporting by Carmel Crimmins; Editing by Susan Fenton

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