The bill to nationalise Anglo Irish Bank, the Anglo Irish Bank Bill 2009, was passed by both houses of the Irish legislature late yesterday evening, 20 January 2009.
See our summary of the Bill as it stood when it was published last Friday, 16 January, together with the subsequent change on Monday, 19 January, regarding the right to withdraw large deposits. Before the Bill was passed last night, a number of additional changes mostly of a minor technical nature were introduced. The only significant amendments were perhaps the following:
- A new provision was included providing that a petition may not be brought for the winding up of Anglo under Part VI of the Companies Act 1963 without the leave of the Minister.
- The relationship between the Minister for Finance and Anglo is somewhat clarified and a new provision is included which enables the Minister to direct Anglo to do or refrain from doing anything which, in the opinion of the Minister, is necessary or expedient in the public interest, subject to regulatory requirements.
- In particular also, the power of the Minister to remove and replace any director, employee, consultant, auditor, etc of Anglo is qualified by the fact that this power must now be exercised "only in the public interest (including the restoration of public confidence in Anglo Irish Bank) and subject to regulatory requirements", a phrase the meaning of which could potentially provide ample scope for debate.