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Thousands of finance officials yet to complete probity forms

THOUSANDS of Irish bank and finance officials have yet to declare that their personal finances are transparent and above board as demanded by new legislation designed to help clean up the banking sector.

With the deadline just six months away for compliance with the financial health and probity stipulations under the Central Bank Reform Act 2010, there has been widespread confusion and suspicion in the banking and financial services sector.

And trade union officials recently told members not to sign the self-certifying probity questionnaires circulated by management.

Banks now fear that trade union demands will delay probity certification among staff which could drastically effect the ability of banks to function from early next year.

The legislation decrees that staff who have not complied cannot work in positions dealing with customers from the end of this year, and that all banks must vouch for the probity of staff. There are penalties in place for banks which do not comply or are found to be in breach.

A trade union source with members in the banking sector said: "There are a number of problems with these probity requirements. Members are being asked to disclose very personal financial information to their employers and we really should have some guarantees about what exactly they are allowed to use it for.

"In the current climate when bank staff are being let go, there is a fear that any issues revealed in these declarations will help management to remove people from their positions."

Irish Independent