More questions than answers following Davy’s ‘nixer‘ scandal

07 March 2021
  • One law for ordinary people and another for high rollers
  • Resignations a belated decision 
  • Is Minister for Finance satisfied for NTMA to continue relationship with Davy?

Labour finance spokesperson Ged Nash has asked the Minster for Finance to give his views on the appropriateness of the National Treasury Management Agency’s (NTMA) relationship with Davy in the wake of a watershed week for the Irish banking and financial services sector. 

Deputy Nash highlighted the fundamental inequality in the sector between ordinary customers and industry high rollers who seem to operate under their own rules.

Deputy Nash called on the Minister to urgently implement the long-awaited SEAR laws to improve accountability and behaviour in the sector. 
Deputy Nash said:

“The decision of senior Davy executives to resign was a belated one that ought to have been taken as soon as the Central Bank investigation had published its findings and the €4.1m fine was imposed on the firm. This matter is far from over. 

“This is Ireland’s costliest and most notorious nixer, and now that the Central Bank’s probe into the behaviour of Davy’s in 2014 has concluded, the attention of the regulator needs to turn to the question of how individual’s responsible for this egregious behaviour can be held to account for their actions. In its investigation, the Central Bank used a section of Irish law that can also be applied to the behaviour of individuals once an investigation has concluded. The question for the Central Bank now is are they prepared to pursue that course of action in the public interest?

“This is not a victimless form of behaviour. We know that it is individuals who make decisions of this nature and not merely corporations, therefore individuals need to be held to account. 

“There is also a series of questions that the Minister for Finance needs to answer. The NTMA uses Davy’s as the predominant domestic agency trading Irish bonds and this scandal begs the question; is the Minister for Finance happy to continue with that relationship? 

“It is also crucial that the Minister brings forward the long awaited SEAR regime to promote better behaviour at the top of our financial institutions which is clearly badly needed. 

“This has been a bad few weeks for the Irish financial services and banking sector. Last Monday Bank of Ireland announced the closure of 88 bank branches which will devastate rural towns and ordinary customers throughout the country. 

“Similarly, Ulster Bank announced its exit from the Irish banking system. This week, the Minister for Finance also signed off on the principle that bonuses would be paid to Goodbody stockbrokers – a firm that has been bought by AIB which is majority owned by the Irish state.

“The question ordinary Irish banking customers and workers are asking is: ‘Is there one law and one banking system for me, and another set of laws and an exclusive banking and investment systems for high rollers?’”. 

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