THE UK MAIL on Sunday has launched a campaign against the Irish banking sector, urging its readers to pull their money from Bank of Ireland and Anglo Irish Bank and place it instead in British institutions.

The move could prove particularly damaging for Bank of Ireland, which has over two million British customers through a joint venture with the British Post Office.

In a series of articles not carried in its Irish edition, the paper claimed that saving with the banks was "not for the faint-hearted" and that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) was concerned about British building societies' exposure to them.

"FSA officials have been taking a particular interest in exposure to Irish institutions. This is over and above the usual regulatory monitoring requirements, suggesting it has particular concern[s]," said one article.

Although the British FSA refuses to comment on individual institutions, regulatory sources told the Sunday Tribune that contrary to the Mail's claims, City watchdogs in London had no particular concerns about Irish banks.

A source also revealed that while it had asked British building societies about their exposure to Irish banks, it had sought similar information regarding their exposure to British institutions.

Meanwhile, an article on the paper's website said that money should be pulled from Irish institutions and "moved to accounts in banks authorised and protected in the UK".

"If Ireland were to default, nobody seems to know what might happen to the Irish government's pledge to protect UK savers' money... we view it as scandalous that no UK authority here will deal with this issue," said the article.