The Minister for Finance has said he will ban bank directors holding other directorships in private companies and will stop bank CEOs becoming chairmen.

Speaking in London today, Brian Lenihan said the reforms were designed to repair the damage which Anglo Irish Bank had inflicted on Ireland's reputation abroad.

Mr Lenihan today held talks with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alastair Darling, during which the disparity between Irish and British VAT rates was discussed.

The minister has spent three days in London attending St Patrick's Day functions and meeting media and market opinion formers.

He said his message was that Ireland had a detailed plan to deal with its economic difficulties.

However, he admitted that the problems with Anglo Irish Bank had caused what he described as ‘reputational damage’ to Ireland's banking system.

He also said that proposals for regulatory reform measures - including a ban on cross-directorships - had been well received.