BoI mortgage unit is fined by Central Bank
Bank of Ireland's mortgage bank has been fined €120,000 for breaching regulatory standards by the Central Bank.
The State's biggest lender was hit with the fine and reprimanded for breaching the rules governing the mix of cash on deposits and mortgage debt the bank is allowed to hold.
While the breaches were technical and posed no risk to customers or investors, the Central Bank said Bank of Ireland had inadequate internal controls that should have enabled the firm to identify or ensure compliance with the limit on credit transaction assets.
The Central Bank said appropriate action was taken to rectify the breaches once the bank was made aware of them.
Central Bank director of enforcement Peter Oakes said any breach of "asset covered securities legislation" was viewed as "a serious matter''.
The bank was in breach of the rules from April 2011 to the end of last year. It breached a 10pc cap limiting the amount of cash it can keep in the mix of assets in a so-called "covered bond" programme.
It occurred after a ratings downgrade for Bank of Ireland led to some deposits kept by the mortgage bank in Bank of Ireland being reclassified.
Meanwhile, Bank of Ireland shareholder Harris Associates has cut its stake in the bank to under 7pc, according to a filing with the Irish Stock Exchange.
Last year, Harris's then 6pc stake meant it was briefly the biggest single private-sector Bank of Ireland shareholder, before a consortium led by Wilbur Ross and Prem Watsa took a stake in the lender.
At the start of this year, the Harris stake was down to 5pc, only topping the 7pc mark last month before dropping to 6.95pc.