Banks may require an extra €3-€4 billion, says Elderfield


The country's main banks will likely need a further €3-€4 billion over the coming years to meet international capital requirements, Financial Regulator Matthew Elderfield told German paper Boersen-Zeitung today.

The State has already committed some €64 billion towards the recapitalisation of the banks.

Mr Elderfield said in March that the looming Basel III rules would likely force banks to require more capital, although the Government hopes the majority state-owned sector will be in a position to raise the funds itself by then.

Asked today if Irish banks need more capital, Mr Elderfield, said: "In the medium term they will certainly need more capital, if only because of the stricter international capital requirements."

"With regards to measuring capital and the question of which instruments count and which do not, the institutes must go even further," he said.

"In the coming five to six years, the Irish banks should need a further three to four billion euros."

He added that Ireland was making good progress with the stabilisation of its banks, but that "the banks also need more time to check their credit portfolio".

"They are not as far as they should be, their operative ability is not as strong as it could be," he said.

The banks are now struggling to return to profitability ahead of the so-called Basel III rules which will gradually require them to hold greater capital buffers by 2019.

Additional reporting by Reuters