Bank shares plummet after Anglo Irish board resigns Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent guardian.co.uk, Monday 19 January 2009 15.59 GMT Article history Shares in Irish banks plunged to record lows today over fears for the country's entire banking system. The panic was prompted by concern over the future of the Anglo Irish Bank, which the Irish government nationalised last week. The remaining directors of Anglo Irish resigned today . NoÃ«l Harwerth, Anne Heraty, Michael Jacob, Gary McCann and Ned Sullivan have written to the bank's chairman, Donal O'Connor, to advise him of their decision. They say it will allow the finance minister, Brian Lenihan, to appoint new board members once the bank has been nationalised. Chief executive David Drumm and chief financial officer Willie McAteer have already quit. Several hours after the resignations were announced banking stocks suffered huge falls on the Dublin stockmarket. The Allied Irish Bank (AIB) and the Bank of Ireland lost more than half their value to hit record lows. Shares in AIB closed almost 60% lower at 60 cents and shares in Bank of Ireland were more than 80% lower at 34 cents. Dublin brokers said a variety of factors were weighing on banking shares, including news of huge losses among British banking stocks today and continuing fears over the Irish economy. "Investors are a bit worried after Anglo," said NCB analyst Ciaran Callaghan. Stuart Draper, stockbroking director at Dolmen Securities, said the decision by the British government to swap Â£5bn of preference shares in RBS for new ordinary shares had implications for investor sentiment in relation to Irish banks. The decision means the UK government's stake in RBS will increase from 58% to nearly 70%, hugely diluting existing shareholdings. The recapitalisation of AIB and Bank of Ireland will see the government invest â¬2bn (Â£1.8bn) in each of the banks in return for a 25% say in "key issues". AIB and Bank of Ireland are seeking to raise a further â¬1bn each from private investors. The Irish Labour Party today criticised the government for changing the proposed legislation to nationalise the Anglo Irish Bank. A clause relating to the withdrawal of money by customers who owe a lot of money and have more than â¬20m on deposit is being dropped. The Fianna FÃ¡il-led coalition had planned to restrict customers with deposits of more than â¬20m from withdrawing money if their debts were higher than that figure. Labour is questioning whether developers and businessmen lobbied against the move.