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OECD Banking Statistics: Methodological Country Notes 2010

image of OECD Banking Statistics: Methodological Country Notes 2010

Trends in bank profitability and factors affecting it are major indicators of changes in the state of health of national banking systems. This publication complements Banking Statistics: Financial Statements of Banks 2010 which provides a unique tool for analysing developments in bank profitability in OECD countries. In addition to information on financial statements of banks in OECD countries, it includes data on the number of reporting banks, their branches and staff, structural information on the whole financial sector and ratios aiming at facilitating the analysis of bank profitability of OECD countries.

The methodological country notes included in this volume were prepared to facilitate the comprehension and the interpretation of the statistics and to provide a brief description of the activities of banks in each country.

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Ireland

The statistics published in Banking Statistics – Financial Statements of Banks refer to licensed banks and building societies. At the end of 2007, there were 50 banks licensed under Section 9 of the Central bank Act, 1971, and at the end of 2008 there were 49 licensed banks. When banks with the same beneficial ownership are considered as one entity, the number of banks in 2007 is reduced to 43, and in 2008 it is reduced to 23. Of these institutions, over half are engaged almost exclusively in International Financial Services Centre (IFSC)1 business. There were also three building societies. As the Irish banking system has developed, barriers between sectors have become less distinct for the above institutions, as they operate in much the same markets and are collectively regarded as credit institutions.

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