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Is the IFSRA Policing Banks Effectively?

Posted on: October 13th, 2004

Despite the setting up of the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority to examine the activities of the banks, this body appears to be failing to police them properly. Although IFSRA is doing a particularly conscientious job, it is failing to detect more and more excesses by financial institutions.

There is something seriously wrong with the structure that this can happen. AIB was recently involved in a case where hidden charges on a mental handicap association in Kerry were revealed at the weekend and the bank had to repay in excess of €210,000.

What is worrying is not the isolated case where the bank repaid hidden charges but, first, that these were discovered by independent auditors and not by the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority and, second, that it is quite obvious to me and to others that this is not an isolated case and that despite legislation the banks are continually loading hidden charges on institutions, not only on good charities such as the one I mentioned but on individuals, and getting away with it. It is a problem this House must attack in legislation.