Ireland returns Bank of Ireland to full private ownership

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man passes a logo for the Bank of Ireland as he leaves the bank in Dublin May 28, 2007. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor (IRELAND)

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Bank of Ireland became the first Irish lender to return to full private ownership since the aftermath of the 2008-09 global financial crisis after the government said on Friday that it had sold the last of its shares.

Ireland pumped 64 billion euros or almost 40% of its annual economic output into its banks just over a decade ago after a property crash had left its now mostly state-owned banking sector requiring the biggest state rescue in the euro zone.