AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB have all made sizeable provisions against future loan losses in their first-half accounts just published. This is a change of tack by banks, in Ireland and internationally. After the 2008 financial crash, banks were in denial and the regulatory regime at the time allowed them to provide only for loan losses which had already crystallised.

Banks which were clearly going bust made inadequate provisions and some even paid out dividends and bonuses to the bitter end. The result was taxpayer bailouts in many countries.