Appleby still grappling with Anglo files for DPP
Corporate enforcer hoping for progress before return to High Court
The Director of Corporate Enforcement says his office is preparing a fourth file to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to Anglo Irish Bank.
The Director of Corporate Enforcement Paul Appleby was speaking at a conference in Dublin yesterday. He said new laws would put the onus on individuals to report suspected financial wrongdoing to the gardai.
Mr Appleby was asked from the floor whether he believed anyone would go to jail as a result of the Irish banking crisis. He said he would not comment on individual cases for fear of damaging any future prosecution.
In relation to Anglo Irish Bank, files have already been sent to the DPP and he is awaiting a decision from that office. A fourth file will be sent by the end of the year.
Mr Appleby's office is under pressure to make progress in relation to the Anglo situation before he is due to report back to the High Court on the issue in January.
In relation to the so-called "whistleblower" protections Mr Appleby said the Criminal Justice Act in force since August meant people working in banks, or even working with financial institutions were now under a legal obligation to report matters to the gardai if they suspected a serious offence had been committed. The new rules included protection for whistleblowers, he said, but strong penalties if individuals were seen to be abusing the system by making false claims.
He said the banking culture of trying to deal internally with fraud or other cases of wrongdoing must now change.
At the same event the Central Bank official in charge of supervising banks, Jonathan McMahon, said the main banks would report "materially higher" average loan loss provisions in their 2011 annual results.
He said it came after banks were told to take a "more conservative and realistic" approach to measuring the losses they expected to suffer on individual loans. Mr McMahon said the new rules would apply to the four main banks.
While it was "too early to say yet" how individual banks would fare from the exercise, the overall provisioning level would be higher, Mr McMahon, assistant director general for financial institutions at the Dublin-based Central Bank, said yesterday.
The event was attended by around 200 compliance officers and experts working in the banks.
Delegates at the event were told the new regime of tighter national and international regulation meant compliance was one of the few areas of full employment for Irish bankers.