The State has sold off the last of its stake in Bank of Ireland, the Finance Minister has confirmed.
Paschal Donohoe said the sale “marks an important milestone in delivering on the Government’s policy of returning the banking sector to private ownership”.
The final shares were sold for around €841m – with individual shares sold for an average price of €6.17 each.
The Department of Finance said the State has now recovered almost €6.7bn in cash from its €4.7bn investment in the bank during the financial crash.
Minister Donohoe said he believes banking should be left to the private sector.
“When I announced the launch of the share trading plan in June 2021, I commented that banking is an activity that involves taking credit risk and therefore should be provided by the private sector,” he said.
“It follows that taxpayer funds which were used to rescue the Irish banks should be recovered and used for more productive purposes.”
He said the Government has also made “great progress” in selling off its interests in AIB and Permanent TSB.
He said the State’s stake in PTSB is expected to reduce from 75% to 62.4% late this year when the bank issues new shares in part exchange for its purchase of certain elements of Ulster Bank.