The State has completed the sell-off of its shareholding in Bank of Ireland.

Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, said the development is an important milestone in delivering on the Government's policy of returning the banking sector to private ownership.

In total, €841m was generated through the trading plan process, which has been ongoing for a number of months.

During the most recent third phase of the process, shares were sold at an average prices of €6.17 each.

That represents an increase from the €5.64 per share realised in the second phases and €4.96 in the first phase.

"When I announced the launch of the share trading plan in June 2021, I commented that banking is an activity that involves taking credit risk and therefore should be provided by the private sector," Paschal Donohoe said.

"It follows that taxpayer funds which were used to rescue the Irish banks, should be recovered and used for more productive purposes."

"The gradual disposal of the State’s investment in Bank of Ireland into a rising market has been successful in delivering on this objective for our citizens."

In total, €6.7bn has now been recovered by the State from its €4.7bn bailout of Bank of Ireland.

That bailout took place between 2009-2011 at the height of the global financial crisis.

The development marks a significant one for Bank of Ireland, providing it with independence in its decision making.

However, the Government has not indicated whether the pay restrictions on bankers will continue to be applied to Bank of Ireland now that the State’s involvement in it has ended.

Those pay caps also apply to AIB and Permanent TSB which the State continues to be a majority shareholder in.

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"We have also made great progress in relation to our investments in PTSB and AIB, which collectively are still worth over €4.9 billion notwithstanding various disposals this year," minister Donohoe said.

"Our stake in PTSB is expected to reduce from 75% to approximately 62.4% later this year when the bank issues new shares in part exchange for the Ulster business it has agreed to purchase from NatWest Group Plc."

"Meanwhile at AIB, which is by far the State's largest remaining investment, our stake has reduced from 71.2% to 63.5%."

The sell down process of Bank of Ireland shares began in June of last year.

At that point, the State owned 13.9% of the lender.

In order to ensure the taxpayers' interest is protected, shares were not sold below a certain price per share.

Gavin Kelly, Interim Group CEO of Bank of Ireland

Bank of Ireland welcomed today's announcement that the State no longer retains any ownership of the Group.

"The completion of the sale of the State shareholding in Bank of Ireland is a very positive moment for Irish taxpayers, for Bank of Ireland, and for the sector as a whole," said Gavin Kelly, Interim Group CEO of Bank of Ireland.

"Bank of Ireland should never have needed support from the taxpayer. We will always be grateful for the help we received."

"This is a milestone moment for Bank of Ireland as we move conclusively beyond the financial crisis, and is a very important step towards full normalisation of our relationship with the State," Mr Kelly said in a statement.