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Ireland has credit rating cut again

Thursday 3 February 2011 - by Will Henley

Standard & Poor's has downgraded Ireland's credit rating from A to A- and warned that a further lowering could be on the cards for the beleaguered country.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the credit rating agency said that the downgrade reflected fears regarding the projected costs of bank bailouts.

It was concerned about the "uncertainties surrounding the size of Ireland's additional capital needs for its largely state-owned financial sector," it said.

The announcement came just a day after Prime Minister Brian Cowen formally dissolved Parliament and called an election for 25 February.

The dissolution was prompted by the departure of the Green Party from the governing coalition and followed Cowen's decision to stand down as leader of his own party.

Last week the Parliament passed a crucial Finance Bill, one of the conditions of an €85bn joint ECB-IMF bailout.

On Wednesday, the Central Bank of Ireland revealed the individuals appointed to its new Consumer Advisory Group, tasked with advising the central bank on its performance in protecting consumers.

The group includes Consumers Association of Ireland chief executive Dermott Jewell and former commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, Bill Knight.

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