The Minister for Finance has repeated that all options into how to deal with Anglo Irish Bank have been examined. Brian Lenihan was concluding a Dáil debate on the Government's plans for the country's banks.

He said that although an immediate wind-down was popular with the public, such action was not an option.

The debate had been pencilled in to last an hour and half, but such was the demand that it ran over by 30 minutes.

The Minister for Finance said that all parties would like to see the back of Anglo Irish Bank, but that was not possible. Brian Lenihan said defaulting on senior debt could not be countenanced and 'it was not on the agenda'.

Fine Gael's Richard Bruton earlier asked if there was a certain point where keeping Anglo Irish Bank open would no longer be regarded as the best option, given the amount of money being injected into the bank. The Minister did not directly reply to that question.

The Minister also accepted arguments made by Sinn Féin's Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin that the role of some auditors in NAMA and their previous work for banks needed to be investigated.

Earlier, Labour's Pat Rabbitte said the amount of money committed to Anglo Irish Bank would pay for the State's capital programme for seven years. He also described Anglo as a failed private bank, and said the Government rescue plan would impose a huge burden on every taxpayer.

The Government was also urged to extend the scope of the banking inquiry to cover the decision to give a State guarantee to Anglo Irish Bank. The leaders of Fine Gael and Labour called for the extension of the inquiry in the Dáil.

Anglo ratings still on 'creditwatch'

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's has kept its rating for Anglo Irish Bank on whit it calls 'creditwatch with negative implications', following the Government's announcement that it was putting another €8.3 billion into the bank.

This means the agency is looking at whether to lower the bank's rating from the current BBB/A-2 level. S&P says it will make a final decision following the outcome of the European Commission's review of Anglo's restructuring plan.

Analyst Claire Curtin said the ratings reflected S&P's expectation of continuing support from the Government for the bank.'

S&P also left its ratings and outlook for AIB and Bank of Ireland unchanged following the recent announcements from the Government, the Financial Regulator and NAMA.