President Mary McAleese is expected to sign off on the legislation guaranteeing the liabilities of Irish banks later today.
The guarantee – which has reportedly triggered large inflows of cash from Britain into Irish banks, was approved by the Dail early this morning.
The bill was approved in the Dail by 124 votes to 18 . The Labour party voted against it. In the Senate it was also approved – 39 to five in favour.
Brian Lenihan – Finance Minister said late on Wednesday that the scheme could be extended to foreign banks with retail units in Ireland and that applications would be considered on a case-by-case basis. Ulster Bank and HBOS would be the two main banks involved. HBOS has retail and business banking operations in Ireland under the Halifax and Bank of Scotland (Ireland) brands.
Ulster Bank is owned by Royal Bank of Scotland.
The Irish Times reported today that one Irish bank had received a single corporate deposit of 500 million euros following the announcement of the guarantee.