A major German community-oriented bank that wants to bring its model to Ireland believes it could play a role in solving the housing crisis.
Sparkasse, the biggest bank in Germany, wants to create an alternative to the major commercial banks, particularly in regional towns.
The European Investment Bank has indicated support for the €200m project, said Sparkasse. The support is conditional on the proposal receiving political backing in Ireland. It is understood that this has been slow to materialise thus far.
Sparkasse, which issues half of all German mortgages at rates well below standard Irish rates, believes Ireland is ideal for its municipality-owned, non-profit model.