Saturday, December 1, 2012

1/12/2012: Irish Government deposits with Zombie Banks


On the foot of the analysis of deposits from Irish Residents, one might ask a question if the Irish Government deposits within the Irish banking system are significantly skewed in favour of the Covered Group of banks (Irish domestic banks largely owned by the Government).

The hart below plots the ratio of Irish Covered Banks Deposits from Irish Residents as a percentage of all same category deposits within the Domestic Banks group:


And the subsequent chart plots Government deposits in Domestic group and within Covered group:


Per first chart above, it is pretty clear that Irish Government deposits are biased in favour of the Covered banks and that this bias has risen dramatically during the current crisis (since the beginning of 2008). Of course, the effect of this bias is two-fold:

  1. This represents a direct subsidy from the Exchequer to the Covered Banks at the expense of non-Covered banks, and
  2. This results in lowering the deposit rates that Covered Banks must charge to attract depositors.
Now, some more detailed stats on the same subject:
  • In October 2008, 75.49% of all Resident Deposits within the Domestic System were banked at the Covered Institutions. This represented a decline of 0.505% on September 2012 and a drop of 3.67% on October 2011.
  • Share of Covered Banks in total Domestic Resident deposits was down on 3mo average basis (q/q and y/y) and on 6mo average basis
  • In October 2012, share of Covered Banks in total Domestic banking system resident deposits was down 3.67% on October 2011, down 7.44% on October 2010 and down 6.56% on October 2009.
  •  While total share of Covered Banks in domestic deposits has declined, in Government deposits their share has risen. In October 2012 Covered Banks' share of Government deposits rose to 91.992% (up 1% m/m and 0.8% y/y). The said share is no up 1.92% on October 2010.
Let's take a look at longer term series:
  • Prior to 2008, average share of Covered Banks in total resident deposits was 78.7% and this fell to 75.3% for the average from 2008 through present, with 3mo average through October 2012 share now at 75.7%.
  • Prior to 2008, average share of Covered Banks in Private Sector resident deposits was 75.7% and this fell to 73.6% for the average from 2008 through present, with 3mo average through October 2012 share now at 72.8%.
  • Prior to 2008, average share of Covered Banks in Government deposits was 81.5% and this rose to 92.4% for the average from 2008 through present, with 3mo average through October 2012 share now at 90.9%.
While Private Sector seemingly is diversifying away from Irish banking zombies, Irish Government is increasingly subsidizing them. Given the Government simultaneously deposits with the banks that it owns and guarantees, one wonders if such apparent and blatant subsidization of the domestic covered institutions through deposits holdings by the Government is (1) consistent with competition rules present in the EU, and (2) consistent with good practices of risk management.
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