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 Header Item Parliamentary Inquiries (Continued)
 Header Item IBRC Staff

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 809 No. 2

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Deputy Michael Noonan: Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I have not seen Governor Honohan's comments. The Governor and Central Bank are under law independent in the exercise of their functions. I do not answer for the Central Bank before the House. Governor Honohan was involved and was one of the principals in one of the three inquiries that have taken place. The Deputy might seek clarification from the bank.

IBRC Staff

 63. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan if he regrets continuing to employ persons (details supplied) in a State-owned bank; and the actions he took to ensure they were fit to hold these positions after revelations that were recently published in the media.  [32191/13]

Deputy Michael Noonan: Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan Like every citizen in this country who is working hard to restore the economy, I am deeply disturbed by the taped conversations from 2008 involving these executives of the former Anglo Irish Bank and dismayed to hear senior banking executives refer to the banking crisis with such arrogance. Irish taxpayers have grimly endured the austere cost of the bank recapitalisation and the bank guarantee and are, understandably, outraged by these revelations. Irish citizens have suffered greatly as a direct result of the banking crisis and the events which led to the bank guarantee. The recent revelations will only serve to reinforce the Government's resolve to move this country back in the right direction by tightening up regulation and enforcing it.

  It would not be appropriate for me to discuss the employment of specific individuals in the bank. Ultimately, the board and management of Anglo Irish Bank-IBRC had responsibility for the ongoing staffing of the bank. As the Deputy will be aware, there was an extensive restructuring of the governance and management of Anglo Irish Bank immediately following the nationalisation of the bank in January 2009. As part of that restructuring, all non-executive directors in the bank, other than the Chairman and those appointed under the guarantee scheme, resigned and were replaced with a new board. None of the new executive or non-executive directors was involved with the bank prior to nationalisation.

  In addition, there was an extensive reorganisation of the senior management team, commencing with the appointment of the former CEO of IBRC, Mike Aynsley, in September 2009. Following that appointment, the entire executive of the bank was replaced with an appropriately skilled senior management team to lead the newly formed IBRC, namely, the combined former Anglo Irish Bank and former Irish Nationwide Building Society, through the process of wind-down. Under the relationship framework the board and senior management of the bank were responsible for all staff employment matters at the bank. I had no role in this matter. None the less, the tapes raise serious issues and the Government is committed to ensuring the public is fully informed about what happened in Irish banks in the lead-up to and during the financial crisis.

  The Government has published the Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Bill 2013 which, if enacted, will provide the legal framework for a banking inquiry to be held within current constitutional parameters. I expect that once that legislation is on the Statute Book, the Houses of the Oireachtas will move quickly to progress that inquiry. It is important that all relevant parties participate fully with any resulting inquiry.

  Additional information not given on the floor of the House

  There are ongoing investigations by the Garda that must be let run their course. The Central Bank is carefully studying the various transcripts emerging and will be liaising with the Garda in this regard. The Central Bank is also examining whether any breaches of regulatory requirements may have occurred arising from the information contained in the transcripts.

Deputy Pearse Doherty: Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty The question was whether the Minister regrets continuing to employ Mr. John Bowe and Mr. Peter Fitzgerald, the latter until February of this year, in respect of which the Minister has passed the buck to the board of the bank. In October 2011, I asked the Minister how many of the top 50 senior executives employed in Anglo Irish Bank prior to the crash were still employed by the State. The Minister was forthright in his answer and said that 22 of the top 50 were still employed by the State, 19 of whom were earning in excess of €175,000.

Mr. John Bowe and Mr. Peter Fitzgerald, who are now household names as a result of the Anglo tapes, are two of the individuals who continued to be employed by the Minister for Finance on behalf of the State. Others, whom I have previously named in this House, were involved in reckless lending at that bank. One of these employees, heard on the Anglo tapes, left his position in February this year. This is at the same time as the public is experiencing huge austerity.

We were promised by Government that it would clear out the banks and burn the bondholders. That was the chant of the Government parties prior to the election. It is clear that this is not what has happened. Not only did the Government fail to burn the bondholders - one of the first things it did was pay the promissory note due on 31 March 2011 - but it also protected these individuals in the same way as it protected Mr. Richie Boucher, head of the retail division in Bank of Ireland in the run-up to the crash and now in charge at that bank, commanding a salary of €843,000 per annum.

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