An international expert has told the Banking Inquiry that Anglo Irish Bank was deserving of being nationalised a long time before it was.  

Boston College Professor Ed Kane said the nationalisation of the bank was in the taxpayers' interest.  

The Professor also said bankers will always claim to have a liquidity problem when it may actually be an insolvency issue. 

He said the culture was to give banks the benefit of the doubt that it was a liquidity problem even though bankers may know it was an insolvency issue.  

Bankers routinely abuse rules without suffering meaningful penalties and most penalties have been focussed on corporations and not on individuals, he added.

Professor Kane said he was only a little bit familiar with the Irish banking system and was not a student of it.

The banking inquiry was also told today that Ireland should have worked a harder deal with Europe but was not in a position to dictate terms due to its small size. 

But Professor Kane said Ireland had showed a lot of "gumption" in handling its situation.

He said there was a failure to completely design the European Monetary union and a formal loss allocation method was never established and they were just winging it.  

Fine Gael's Kieran O'Donnell asked about Anglo Irish Bank and what could have been done earlier to save taxpayers' money.

Professor Kane said that hypothetically when any bank is growing rapidly relative to the industry and with a concentration of loans, a team should be sent in to try to figure out the taxpayers' stake in the firm and to collect value for the taxpayer.  

He also said that a bank was a zombie bank when it was only in business because of guarantees, and then it would ideally be best to act when approaching that condition.

Sinn Fein's Pearse Doherty asked Professor Kane whether it would have been better to nationalise Anglo Irish Bank or to give it guarantees. 

The professor said Anglo was enjoying implicit guarantees and did not stop taking risks until it was taken over. 

He said Anglo was a bank whose loss-taking had to be stopped. He also said blanket guarantees were the easiest type of guarantee to give politically and administratively.