New data shows that a total of 166 Irish Bank Resolution Corporation commercial loans accounts were charged an interest rate of less than 1%.

In a written reply to Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath, the Finance Minister said IBRC's Special Liquidators confirmed that accounts with a rate of less than 1% were mainly related to distressed loans.

This was where the loan was restructured or where the borrower was in the liquidation or administration and the prospect of any future recovery was "remote". 

Today's data from the Finance Minister also shows that 920 accounts at the bank were charged a rate of between 1-1.99% on their loans. These loans amounted to €399m.

The largest number of loans at the former Anglo Irish Bank - 2,729 - were charged interest rates of between 2-2.99% on loans worth a total of €7.232 billion.

920 saw rates of between 1-1.99% on loans worth €8.658 billion, while a further 1,568 were charged at rates between 3-3.99% on loans totalling €4.894 billion. 

392 IBRC customers paid interest rates of 4-4.99%, while 271 paid rates of 5-5.99%. 

Another 132 customers paid rates of between 6 and 6.99%, 67 paid interest rates of 7-7.99% while a total of 66 paid interest rates of over 8% on their loans.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One Michael McGrath said the issue of low interest rates needs to be carefully examined.  

Mr McGrath said that the information was not readily available and that it is important that the information is made available to the inquiry.

Fianna Fáil's Michael McGrath has said that he will give this information to the Commission of Investigation which will look at whether there were preferential terms extended to borrowers on favourable terms. 

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, he said the question centres on whether all borrowers at IBRC were treated fairly and consistently, and a key question will be whether the loans related to historic loan agreements.

Michael McGrath said the information was not readily available, adding that it is important that the information is now made available to the inquiry.

He said the overall headline that emerges is that 40% of the loans, in value terms, had extraordinary low interest rates of less than 2%, adding that the issue needs to be carefully examined.