Shane Ross

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Punish Banks whose Profits are being Boosted by Illegal Activity

Posted on: May 7th, 2004

What can happen after the AIB foreign exchange scandal? No prosecutions can be taken through the Consumer Credit Act. That is one of the disgraceful omissions in this particular saga and there is need for legislation in this area. It is ridiculous that although the law has been broken, no prosecutions can be taken.

I suggest the Seanad press for powers to be given to the IFSRA to prosecute the individual bankers involved. The House must consider taking measures where it can such as increasing the bank levy on those banks that have offended. I am sure some banks are not guilty of malpractices. However, from the evidence of the DIRT scandal, it seems all were at it. We cannot sit back helplessly when consumers are ripped off. Though there will be no prosecutions, the bank levies and penalties can be increased and powers of prosecution can be given to the regulatory authorities. There have been enormous increases in bank executives’ salaries.

These salaries are puffed up by illegal profits not just from foreign exchange transactions but also from places such as the Isle of Man. These people are operating in a world that is outside the law. The banks are outlaws in the corporate world and we must recognise this and regulate the area properly.