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Central Bank (Amendment) Bill 2018

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Central Bank (Amendment) Bill 2018

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Snippet Contents:

I too am happy to speak to the Bill. I salute Deputy Pearse Doherty for the excellent work he has done on the issue and the manner in which he has tried to hold financial institutions to account.
The Bill seeks to extend the application of Part 111C of the Central Bank Act 1942 to provide the Central Bank with the power to conduct inquiries into the suspected provision of false or misleading information. It also seeks to provide for administrative sanctions that may be imposed by the Central Bank for the provision of false or misleading information, also known as downright lies. Anyone who has followed the work of the finance committee in recent times will be under no illusion about the level of resistance by the banks and others to the provision of full and accurate information. We see the contempt in which they hold this House when they come before its committees with partial explanations and half-truths at best. It is therefore vital that we finally empower the Central Bank so that it stops being a useless, toothless and fruitless institution because it is in danger of becoming even more so. I am glad to note, however, that it seems in recent times to have finally found a bit of backbone and teeth when dealing with these financial institutions.
The recent performance of the chief executive officer of Permanent TSB, Mr. Masding, when he was before Deputy McGuinness's committee was absolutely appalling and clearly demonstrates the need for this type of legislation. Unless compelled otherwise, the banks and financial institutions will continue to do as they see fit. Families up and down the country have been terrorised. Some years before he became a Minister of State, I met a neighbour of the Minister of State's down in his county. That man was beaten within inches of his life one night by thugs who were sent out by Friends First. I call them "Friends Last" because they are no one's friend. They are a third force, and it is still going on.
Today we see that Permanent TSB will sell thousands of mortgages, as will AIB. Something needs to happen and this Bill is an effort in that regard. Unless the Government does not oppose it, however, the Bill will have to go into the lottery. What will happen then? There is absolutely no legislation. Our latest banking legislation dates to 1942. I have said it here before but it is no wonder the cabals and the gangsters have disdain for the House. They do not care about it because the real power in this country is in the boardrooms of these institutions. The bank robbers are not on the streets any more but in the boardrooms planning and plotting. These people are robbing from within, with impunity, and they are robbing all of us. They have their hands in our pockets. Then there is the way they treat the people.
A farmer friend of mine's case was listed in the High Court today. Another fella is coming up next week. The banks are nothing but legalised terrorists. We had Mr. O'Brien calling families who were worried about their sick children emotional terrorists. This is emotional terrorism, direct terrorism and institutional terrorism that is supported by the State and there is little solace or support below in the Four Courts. It is very little aside from the clocks ticking and the tab mounting to pay the barristers every day. We must do something because it has been going on for ten years and people are at their wits' end. We have had suicides, marriage break-ups, sickness and illness. When will the Government do something?
As the then Taoiseach called it at the time, the Government got a wallop from the electorate the last time. It will get a bigger wallop if it allows these marauding gangsters to go around terrorising our ordinary people. These people are trying to keep the roof over their heads. They are not asking the State for houses and causing all the trauma and everything else. The Government does not want to act, however. We can see the contempt. The Minister of State is here on his own. Not one Fine Gael backbencher or member of the Independent Alliance is present.
I plead with the Minister of State not to oppose the Bill. I plead with him to accept it and to bring forward more rigorous legislation to put some bit of manners and decorum on these people. People have been treated with total disrespect and it has been institutional from the top down. There are some good, ordinary front-of-house people in the banks who get the stick but there is a deep culture of robbery, theft and deceit inside the banks. The banks have no interest in ordinary people's lives or the trauma they suffer but what they can make for their shareholders and for themselves. They will then move onto some other business after it. It is time that the gloves were taken off and the Central Bank did something. It should also be made accountable to the House.