Opinion: Ireland is one of the few countries where banking profits are guaranteed

Marc Rubinstein writes that customers pay the price of bolstering lenders, just as they did for bailing them out

Bank of Ireland on College Green, Dublin. Picture: Getty

At the heart of banking regulation sits a tradeoff between competition and financial stability.

Competition allows consumers access to better prices and better products. But it can also encourage banks to do wayward things, often at the expense of soundness. Faced with the choice, regulators typically come down on the side of safety.

Regulators in Ireland have adopted this thinking with zeal since the implosion of their banking system amid the global financial crisis almost ...