Irish Republican News · June 2, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Call for arrests in banking scandal

Ireland’s largest banking group is caught in a growing scandal over accusations of over-charging and other potentially criminal activities.

The latest allegation concerns rates charged to foreign exchange customers and the revelation that AIB branches that were not meeting their targets altered their exchange rates to increase profits.

The latest blow came as the bank’s top executives denied knowledge of tax-dodging offshore investments.

Former AIB chief executive Gerry Scanlan, who was named as one of the beneficiaries of an offshore company that was found to have breached tax law, has said the money invested in the company belonged to his wife.

He is the second top-ranking executive to confirm a link with the Faldor offshore fund.

In a statement, Mr Scanlan said he and his wife had found themselves to be “indirect and unknowing” beneficiaries of Faldor, the British Virgin Islands-registered company that was managed by AIB Investment Managers. This investment had resulted in an “unexpected” tax liability, he added.

There were worries of damage to the reputation of the Irish financial services industry as a result of the AIB affair.

Ireland’s banking crisis deepened this week with the resignation of former Allied Irish Banks executives from directorships of major Irish corporations, and the resignation of the Bank of Ireland’s chief executive in an apparently separate scandal over his use of “adult” web sites.

Speaking today about latest scandal, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said: “Naming the alleged culprits is not enough. If there is evidence of wrong-doing, arrests should be made”.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News