RBS exposed to Irish debt

Royal Bank of Scotland will be the biggest loser should the Ireland fail to repay its debts, it has emerged. The 84 per cent state-owned bank holds a staggering £3.3bn of Irish sovereign debt – more than any other UKā€ˆlender – and the figure is set to rise even further. Industry sources defended RBS’ position, claiming it was normal for a bank with such developed Irish operations to be so exposed to government debt. The cost of bailing out the Irish banking system could rise to as much as £43.6bn, according to finance minister Brian Lenihan.