Bank of Ireland has emerged as the sole bidder to buy ICC Bank. The sale process, which saw formal bids submitted in the few days, originally included Irish Intercontinental Bank. However, IIB has decided not to make a formal bid for the state bank, RTÉ News has learned. With only one bidder in the ring, the price obtained by the Government for ICC is likely to be severely reduced.

Originally there were three expressions of interest, which included National Australia Bank, IIB and Bank of Ireland. National Australia withdrew from the process very early on, but it is understood that IIB conducted discussions with ICC and only decided to withdraw in recent days. The value of Bank of Ireland's bid is not known at this stage, but the presence of only one bidder will put a dampener on the sale.