Printing of pound denied

Fri, Dec 9, 2011, 00:00

THE CENTRAL Bank is not in negotiations with any printing companies in case it needs additional capacity to print the pound, it is understood.

The bank said yesterday it was not printing pounds – a rumour that has surfaced in recent months. “We are only printing euros,” a spokeswoman said.

The denial follows an article in the Wall Street Journalsaying the Central Bank is “evaluating whether it needs to secure additional access to printing presses” in case the single currency breaks up and Ireland leaves the euro zone.

It is understood that although there have been some discussions about the possible fallout should the euro crisis worsen, authorities in Ireland have not reached the stage of considering the practical measures, including printing capacity, that would be necessary for a return to the pound.

Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton said on RTÉ radio yesterday she had “no knowledge” of any plan to acquire further printing capacity.

However Ireland’s biggest company, CRH, has confirmed it is making preparations for a possible fracturing of the euro zone. CRH chief executive Myles Lee said it was considering the kind of contingency plans “any responsible company should have in place”. – (Additional reporting: Bloomberg)