Fianna Fáil has called for clarity on the role of German bank KFW in Irish lending.

It follows the Taoiseach’s announcement that the German development bank will work with Irish and German authorities on funding for SMEs.

“This is an extremely vague announcement that raises more questions than it answers. People are wondering what exactly this means for the Irish banking sector, for Irish taxpayers and for Irish businesses,” said Deputy Calleary.

“If it is indeed the case that a German bank is being brought in to address the credit crisis in Ireland, a number of key questions must be answered immediately:

– On what basis would KFW be operating in Ireland? Has it applied for a banking license?

– What will its remit be? Is this an advisory role or a direct lending role?

– Will this be a long-term commitment to the Irish market?

– What size of funding is it envisaged that KFW will provide?

– What will its targets be? Will it be free to cherry pick lending opportunities?

“People will also be wondering where this leaves the Programme for Government commitment to establish a Strategic Investment Bank. Is this German bank being brought in to replace plans for a State-run Irish institution that can provide a permanent solution to the current credit crisis? And is the Government finally acknowledging that its two pillar bank strategy is not working for the economy?

“I am calling on the Taoiseach and the Finance Minister to clear up this confusion without delay,” said Deputy Calleary.