Irish banks to set up environmental funds

Following the Government's decision to recapitalise Ireland's financial institutions this month, Minister for Finance Brian Cowen has announced that banks will be creating green funds to support eco-friendly initiatives and small businesses.

Subject to the plans, each bank will set up a Euro 100m fund specifically for environmental investments and enterprise, in a bid to reduce Ireland’s carbon footprint.

The Government will have invested Euro 5.5bn in the Allied-Irish Bank, the Bank of Ireland and the Anglo-Irish Bank by the end of the first quarter 2009.

Mr Cowen said that the new financial measures aim to “ensure that the financial system in Ireland meets the everyday financial needs of individuals, businesses and the overall economy”.

According to the Government’s decision, the recapitalised Irish banks will also provide a minimum of 10% extra capacity for lending to small-to-medium sized enterprises this year.

In addition, a new code of practice for business lending will be introduced.

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