Minister for Finance still dragging his heels on accountability for bankers

24 September 2020
  • Labour welcomes the Central Bank imposing a fine of €18.3 million on KBC.
  • KBC CEO’s previous statement that the Tracker Mortgage Examination was ‘annoying’ is a terrible indictment on KBC and the culture in banks.
  • Paschal Donohoe is dragging his heels on the Senior Executive Accountability Regime for bankers

Responding to the Central Bank fining KBC Bank the maximum amount possible for its role in the tracker mortgage scandal, Labour Finance spokesperson Ged Nash said:

“The Central Bank hitting KBC with the maximum fine is an indicator of how badly KBC acted in this affair. 66 properties were repossessed of which, 11 families lost their homes. Today’s finding by the Central Bank that KBC had a “proactive strategy to convert customers off their tracker rates” shows the contempt which KBC showed for the customers it ripped off during this whole affair. So much for the ‘bank of you’ tag line that KBC have been talking about.

“Over 100 homes were repossessed by the banks as a direct result of them fleecing their own customers, and no amount of compensation can make up for the pain and stress inflicted on those families by the actions of the banks. KBC were at the centre of this scandal, and their arrogance was revealed for all to see when their CEO said he found the investigation by the Central Bank “annoying”.

“Whatever frustration he had from having to account for the actions of his own bank are nothing compared to the suffering inflicted on families across the country by the actions of KBC and the other banks. What is worse is that the Central Bank has said today that KBC were dragging their heels all through this investigation and were dragged kicking and screaming into doing the right thing and paying back their customers.

“The law on this is clear: Once the Central Bank has completed an enforcement action against a firm for breaking the rules, it then has the power to launch investigations against individuals in that firm. We still have no clarity from the Central Bank on whether it has launched investigations against individuals in PTSB after they were fined last year.

“Paschal Donohoe has a role in this because he has still not introduced the Senior Executive Accountability Regime, even after committing to doing it over two years ago, and despite the Central Bank calling for it. He is dragging his heels on this, and he needs to answer why there has been such a delay in bringing in the new regime.

“Individuals in the banks made the decisions to rip off customers who were entitled to trackers. They must be held to account. Both the Central Bank and the Minister have a lot more work to do on this.”

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