The Dáil has passed all stages of the Bill to nationalise Anglo Irish Bank. On a vote, it was approved by 79 votes to 67. The Bill now goes to the Seanad, which was expected to pass all stages before midnight.

Earlier, the Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan told the Dáil the nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank was necessary to address a 'systemic threat' in the banking sector.

Introducing the Bill, Mr Lenihan said Anglo Irish presented a 'particular problem'. He said concerns about corporate governance and the concentration of its lending to the building sector exposed the bank.

The Minister said taking Anglo into state ownership would have no immediate impact on the general Government debt or current deficit. He said there was enough money - €7 billion - within Anglo Irish to take the strain of loan losses over the next three or four years.

On AIB and Bank of Ireland, Mr Lenihan said they were both fundamentally sound and solvent. He said the Government wanted to see them as independent banks in private ownership.

In response to opposition questions, Mr Lenihan also said he would be interested in sharing some of the information in the PwC report on the banks with other parties' finance spokespersons.

Fine Gael's spokesman Richard Bruton told the Dáil that although his party supports nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank, the legislation is being rushed through the Oireachtas. Mr Bruton said he wanted to see proper operational independence for the bank.

Labour's finance spokeswoman Joan Burton said the sustainable future of AIB and Bank of Ireland was more important than that of Anglo Irish Bank. She said these two banks were needed in every town and village across the country and by Irish business. She also said more information was needed on Sean Quinn's interests in Anglo Irish Bank.

Opposition parties had criticised the timescale for the debate and had called for more time.