Page last updated at 16:51 GMT, Saturday, 4 October 2008 17:51 UK

'No business rush' to Irish banks

Bank of Ireland building
UK banks had been concerned about the move in Ireland

There has been no stampede on the part of UK businesses to transfer savings to Irish banks, a BBC poll suggests.

In a survey carried out with the consultants Unicom, 91.6% of the 312 small businesses quizzed said that they would not consider moving deposits.

The Irish government has agreed to introduce legislation to ensure savers' deposits were totally safe for two years if an Irish bank collapsed.

The BBC poll came after the Financial Services Authority changed guarantees.

The FSA raised the limit to the amount of deposits that are guaranteed should a UK bank go bust, from 35,000 to 50,000 per banking group.

The new limit will come into effect on Tuesday, 7 October.

'No significant spike'

Prior to the FSA announcement on Friday the UK payments association Apacs said there had been no significant spike in transfers between accounts in UK and Irish banks.

Apacs also said that if there had been significant flows of money they would not be detected for a number of days yet until payments had moved through the system.

UK banks and building societies had been concerned about the move by the Irish government.

Meanwhile in a second, smaller BBC poll of 94 companies, 34 small firms said that their business had not been affected by the credit crunch.

Another 46 said it had and 14 said it was too soon to say.

According to Iain MacAuley, spokesman for Unicom which advises small companies mostly on telecoms issues, the poll findings suggest "small businesses do not truly believe they'll lose their money from bank collapses".

He added: "Realistically, the government would bail out any banks that look on the brink, and the big and reputable banks will not be allowed to fail."

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