Friday 9 December 2016

Dukes insists none of IBRC's customers got favourable terms due to who they were

Published 01/06/2015 | 13:06

Former IBRC chairman Alan Dukes and ex CEO Mike Aynsley
Former IBRC chairman Alan Dukes and ex CEO Mike Aynsley

FORMER IBRC chairman Alan Dukes has insisted none of the banks customers received favourable banking arrangements based on who they were.

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Mr Dukes said there was no “general rule” for loan terms and arrangements were made with customers on a case-by-case basis.

The former Fine Gael minister said any deal reached with a customer was based on getting a maximum return for the taxpayer.

He was commenting amid growing controversy over claims made in the Dail by Independent TD Catherine Murphy about businessman Denis O’Brien’s banking arrangements with IBRC.

Read more: Oireachtas privilege 'should trump' privacy of Denis O'Brien's financial affairs - Former Attorney General

“No one secured more favourable terms than others just because who they were or the size of their loan,” Mr Dukes told RTE Radio One.

“Everything depends on the circumstance of each individual case. Everything depended crucially on how each case fitted into the banks overall objective of securing maximum recovery,” he added.

Mr Dukes questioned whether she would accept the outcome of review of IBRC transactions established by the Government.

The review was initiated after Ms Murphy raised concerns over the sale of Siteserv to a company owned by Mr O’Brien.

Asked if he believed there was a public interest justification in Ms Murphy highlighting Mr O’Brien’s banking terms, Mr Dukes said: “I don’t know what the definition of public interest is”.

Mr Dukes was a public interest director at Anglo Irish Bank before it became IBRC.

Read more: Dispute over Dáil privilege takes new twist

He said IBRC operated on the “basis of normal banking criteria” including rules around privacy, confidentiality and ethics.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fail has called on the Government to join the High Court action seeking clarity on Dail privilege relating to Mr O’Brien’s banking arrangements with IBRC.

The party called for legal counsel representing the Houses of the Oireachtas to join the case to “reassert the Constitutional protection over the reporting of comments made by members of the Dáil and Seanad under privilege”.

Fianna Fail Senator Thomas Byrne said the country is faced with a “major constitutional crisis” but the Government and the Oireachtas are not “planning to have a voice” in the court case.

“The silence from the Government on this matter is very worrying,” Mr Byrne said.

“Fianna Fáil is calling for legal counsel representing the Dáil and Seanad Committee on Procedure and Privilege (CPP) to join this week’s action in the High Court and to ensure the privilege bestowed on Oireachtas members is not abridged in anyway.

“We have had a grave development in the past week whereby a national broadcaster was unable to report on the utterances of a TD in the Dáil Chamber due to a court order.  This is a gross violation of the independence of Dáil Éireann and the right of its elected members to speak on matters of public importance.

“Fianna Fáil is extremely concerned that the Taoiseach, himself the longest serving member of the Dáil, has been silent on the profound seriousness of this attack on the Parliament and the people’s Constitution.  We will be raising this issue with the appropriate authorities in the Oireachtas and requesting that the Oireachtas is legally represented in this week’s court action.”

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