AIB WILL TODAY pay over €1.5billion in unsecured debt to senior bondholders, in a move that is effectively financed by the taxpayer.
Payment is due on a bond issued in 2007 by the bank, which has since been taken into State ownership.
The sum is larger than the the €1.25billion repaid to bondholders in the now-defunct Anglo Irish Bank in January.
The payment has come in for criticism from opposition politicians. Independent TD Stephen Donnelly called it “criminal”, saying it amounted to several multiples of the controversial household charge:
According to NAMAWineLake, the bailing out of AIB has so far cost taxpayers €20.7billion.
Senior debt is debt that takes priority – ie has to be repaid first – over ‘junior’, or subordinated debt. It is called unsecured because it is not tied to specific assets, as a mortgage debt is tied to a property.