Minister’s commitment to accountability in banking should see heads roll at AIB AGM

05 May 2021
  • Minister Donohoe must veto reappointment of AIB non-executive directors over bank’s handling of tracker scandal
  • Majority State-owned bank must show lessons have been learned over trackers
  • AIB had single biggest tracker redress issues involving payments of €300m to 6,000 borrowers who were wrongly denied trackers.

In advance of AIB’s AGM tomorrow (Thursday, 6 May 2021), Labour Finance Spokesperson Deputy Ged Nash has called on the Minister for Finance to veto the appointment of non-executive directors of the bank over the majority State-owned institution’s handling of the tracker mortgage scandal.

Deputy Nash said:

“Tomorrow’s AGM is a real test of the Minister’s commitment to a new culture of accountability in the banking and financial services sector. If he is serious about a fresh start for Irish banking and a culture shift it is open to him, as the majority shareholder in the bank, to vote down the re-election of the three non-executive directors.

“The tracker mortgage scandal has left deep scars on those affected and has rightly damaged trust in the Irish banking sector. Not only were people left out of pocket because of the actions of AIB and others, but homes were lost, relationships broken and important opportunities for loved ones were foregone due to this blatant breach of contract by the banks involved.

“The case of AIB was particularly galling. Instead of offering due and timely redress, nearly 6,000 customers were forced to wait and fight for four years until the bank to finally faced up to their wrongdoing.

“Senior decision-makers at board level at the bank need to be made to accept some responsibility for this. Non-executive directors have a wide responsibility for the conduct of the bank’s affairs. That responsibility does not begin and end with the annual accounts, the interests of shareholders and the execution of their basic minimum legal responsibilities. They ought to have a responsibility to customers and be accountable to them too. This is especially so in a majority State-owned bank.

“The Minister for Finance, as the majority stakeholder on behalf of the Irish people, now has a real opportunity to show leadership and to do the right thing. He must lay-down a marker ahead of the upcoming AIB AGM and block these re-appointments.”

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