The Dáil voted in support of a Labour Party motion to postpone the sale of AIB shares.
The Government is reportedly going ahead with it anyway.
In today’s Irish Times, Pat Leahy and Joe Brennan report:
The Department of Finance moved yesterday evening to play down the impact of the passing of the Labour Party Private Members’ motion proposing to delay the AIB share sale until European Union fiscal rules are relaxed.
During a Dáil vote, nobody on the Government side indicated their preference and the motion was deemed to have passed. Opposition TDs believed that Government TDs were distracted by the internal party leadership challenge.
“Private Members’ motions are not legally binding on the Government,” the department said in a statement. “The Government position remains unchanged. The programme for partnership government clearly allows the Minister to sell up to 25 per cent of Allied Irish Banks up to the end of 2018.”
A whistleblower has alleged AIB misled regulators on its progress in dealing with loans which are in arrears.
The claims have been made over recent days to the Central Bank and the European Central Bank.
AIB has told RTÉ News that it is “not aware” of the allegations.
A spokesperson for the Central Bank said that while the bank cannot comment on specific allegations “any correspondence received by the Central Bank through its protected disclosure channel is treated seriously and examined thoroughly.”
…The individual said AIB tried to make progress on restructuring look better than it was in reality.
The principal danger with AIB’s online banking portal stems from the fact that there exist a great many accounts for which the first 6 digits of the ‘secret’ 8-digit registration number are simply the account holder’s birthday in DDMMYY format.
Allied Irish Banks’s web and mobile banking portals are ‘protected’ by a level of security that is twice as easy to crack as would be provided by a single password containing only two lowercase letters.
A person of malicious intent could easily gain access to hundreds, possibly thousands, of accounts as well as completely overwhelm the branch network by locking an estimated several 100,000s of people out of their online banking
Both AIB and the Irish Financial Services Ombudsman have refused to respond meaningfully to multiple communications each in which these concerns were raised privately [see link below]….
Tony’O’Reilly at the INM AGM in 2004 (Top) and David Duffy on The Real Deal last night.
You may recall how this summer AIB secured judgements against Tony O’Reilly and companies controlled by him for €45million.
In June the Commercial Court heard that he owed approximately €195 million to eight different banks – with AIB reportedly calling him ‘insolvent’ three times during the hearing.
On The Real Deal, a documentary on Tony O’Reilly (by RTÉ’s David Murphy) broadcast last night, David Duffy, CEO of AIB, pictured above, said:
“People will make all kinds of comments about what they perceive is the reality. We engage in a very simple process, it’s very consistent and it’s equitable and fair and does not differentiate between one person and another. So there is absolutely no question whatsoever that we took an action for a purpose, other than to treat people exactly as everybody else is treated.”
Further to this, readers may also recall how in June, Colm Keena reported in the Irish Times:
“The purchase of three major Irish businesses over the past two years by the billionaire businessman Denis O’Brien involved total bank write-offs of more than €300 million. The deals saw the businessman invest €230 million to acquire the Siteserv Group, the Topaz Group and the Beacon Private Hospital.”
“Mr O’Brien, who has a 29.9 per cent stake, is the biggest shareholder in the Independent News & Media. In April last year the group did a deal with its eight banks, which include AIB and Bank of Ireland, where the banks wrote off €138 million of an overall debt of €422 million, in exchange for a shareholding in the group worth approximately €10 million.”