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Germans block enforced losses

GERMAN banks were owed €64.7bn by Irish businesses as they recorded a massive €21.3bn exposure to the Irish banking system at the end of last year.

The massive European economy is just one in the region that is opposing Ireland's efforts to enforce losses on certain categories of bank bondholders.

The total amount of "foreign claims" on Irish entities was listed at €88.4bn, according to figures published by Germany's Bundesbank.

And the final sum owed by Ireland to German banks was €2.3bn, attributed to "general government" debts.

A separate report published by the Central Bank shows the six government-guaranteed banks have only minimal exposure to the "periphery" countries.

The amount owed to Irish banks by Portuguese entities came in at just over €1bn at the end of last year, while the exposure to Greece was just €228m.

A fall in amounts owed by the UK private sector accounted for €4.3bn of the €13bn drop.

The Irish report also shows that our banks' total "foreign claims" fell by 6.5pc to €194bn in quarter to December 31 as institutions slimmed down their international portfolios by easing off new lending and selling loans.