AIB has called for the bank guarantee to be extended for a further 12 months beyond the end of September when it is due to expire.

The bank has also said it expects to put up standard variable mortgage rates by 0.5% in the next few weeks.

AIB today reported its worst ever pre-tax losses of just over €2bn for the first half of this year.

Those losses are double the losses reported for the same period last year.

It hopes to announce potential buyers for its Polish and UK businesses by the end of next month.

After that, it will engage in a cost-cutting plan, which will involve job losses.

The bank's managing director Colm Doherty said AIB would be a smaller bank after it sold off assets and it would have to address its cost structure.

He would not be drawn on what form the re-organisation would take.

Mr Doherty said he expected the EU to sign off on AIB's restructuring plan before the final three months of the year.

While NAMA is taking a large proportion of its property development loans, one third of what is left over is concerning the bank too.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio's Morning Ireland, Mr Doherty said raising capital took time.

€7.4bn needs to be raised by the bank to meet new capital reserve rules.

The Managing Director also defended the bank's record on lending to small businesses, saying AIB had sanctioned 23,000 loans in the first six months of the year.

He added that demand from businesses for loans had fallen.

Shares in AIB slumped 5.6% to end at 93c this evening.