Northern Ireland

Irish bank debt jargon buster

Anglo Irish Bank - Based in Dublin from 1964 to 2011, it specialised in lending to property developers. It went into wind-down after being nationalised in 2009. It suffered the largest loss in Irish corporate history. It was merged with the equally toxic Irish Nationwide Building Society and was renamed the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) which was basically a glorified debt collector.

Bond - A way of borrowing money by issuing "an IOU", usually repayable on a fixed term. Governments, companies and many other types of institutions issue bonds. It is generally a promise to repay the issuing party, along with interest, on a specified date (maturity).

Long-term bond - A bond with a maturity period of more than 15 years. Long bonds pay higher interest rates, but have greater credit and inflation risk.

Sovereign bonds - Bonds issued by a national government, generally promising to pay a certain amount (the face value) on a certain date, as well as interest payments.

Promissory note - Where one party makes an unconditional promise in writing to pay a sum of money to another, effectively an IOU.

Toxic loan - A loan that is not going to be repaid leaving the loan issuer with a loss.

Nama - The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) was established in December 2009 as one of a number of initiatives taken by the Irish government to address the serious problems which arose in Ireland's banking sector as the result of excessive property lending. It is effectively a "bad bank" responsible for recovering the value of problematic loans made by other Irish banks.

European Central Bank (ECB) - One of seven institutions of the European Union. It is the central bank for the euro and administers the monetary policy of the EU member states. Its primary objective is to control inflation within the Eurozone.

Monetary policy - The process by which the monetary authority of a country controls the supply of money mainly via interest rates.

Troika - A set of three associated in power. In this context it means Ireland's bailout masters: the European Commission (EC), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the European Central Bank (ECB). these international lenders bailed out the Irish state in 2010 to the tune of almost 85bn euros (£70bn). It meant severe austerity cuts, sparking job losses and price rises.

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