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Banking Sector Investigations (Continued)

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 809 No. 2

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(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Michael Noonan: Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan] In 2009, the ODCE seized under court search warrant approximately 3 million electronic documents and in excess of 5,000 original hard-copy documents. In 2009, the Financial Regulator compelled the production of approximately 45,000 hard copy documents and approximately 9 million electronic documents. The electronic material remains in the possession of the bank as the Financial Regulator investigation was deferred in 2009 pending DPP proceedings. In 2010, the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation under court order received significant quantities of electronic and hard-copy documents and recordings requested in respect of 18 employees of the bank whose lines were recorded. In 2010, the bank was compelled to provide large volumes of electronic and hard-copy material to the Nyberg banking commission. Minutes of meetings as requested were provided to CARB, the ODCE, the GBFI, the banking commission and the Financial Regulator. In civil litigation copies of various items including certain recordings were provided to parties to such litigation.

I am advised that the special liquidators are taking the leaking of this material very seriously and have written to the Garda and the Data Protection Commissioner in that respect. They have written to all parties whom they know have access to this material and I am also advised that the special liquidators intend to appoint an independent party to investigate if the leak came from IBRC or KPMG. These investigations are ongoing.

Deputy Shane Ross: Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross I thank the Minister for his reply. I accept everything he says about who knew what, when they knew it and when these tapes were handed over. I am surprised about one aspect of his reply. It is well known that all conversations of this sort were recorded. I cannot understand why nobody in the Department and particularly in the Central Bank, which was the regulator at the time, knowing full well that the staff of Anglo Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, Irish Life & Permanent and AIB recorded all conversations particularly in certain situations and particularly those involving the head of capital markets, who is the key figure in this, did not ask, immediately the crisis broke or immediately there was a question about solvency or liquidity for these tapes, to see what had been going on inside the bank if it had any doubt.

The Minister rightly said that when the former Minister for Finance, the late Mr. Brian Lenihan Jr., informed the Dáil that €7 billion was sought and in subsequent weeks advised that there was more sought and then more again, he could work out that there was something funny going on. At a minimum Anglo Irish Bank was putting out a teaser to the Central Bank to suck it in for more. In those circumstances, when anybody with knowledge of this matter could guess what was happening, is it not extraordinary that the regulator, which was being taken for a ride, did not ask for taped conversations of what was happening inside in Anglo Irish Bank?

Deputy Michael Noonan: Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan Seemingly he did. As I said in my original reply, in 2009, the Financial Regulator compelled the production of approximately 45,000 hard copy documents and approximately 9 million electronic documents. The electronic material remains in the possession of the bank as the Financial Regulator investigation was deferred in 2009 pending DPP proceedings. As I understand it from the information provided to me, the DPP commenced an action. He compelled, I presume under court order or under his own authority, the production of all these data. However, his investigation did not then proceed because there was an indication that criminal proceedings would commence and his investigation was suspended because of the possibility of DPP proceedings.


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