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Wexford moneylender barred by Central Bank for ‘providing false and misleading information’

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Seana Cunningham is the Central Bank’s director of enforcement (Central Bank of Ireland)

Seana Cunningham is the Central Bank’s director of enforcement (Central Bank of Ireland)

Seana Cunningham is the Central Bank’s director of enforcement (Central Bank of Ireland)

THE Central Bank has barred a Wexford moneylender from providing financial services for two years after concluding he misled the bank about a previous dismissal.

The Central Bank said Michael Kearns, executive director of Gorey-based Home Credit Ireland Ltd, had not provided accurate information about the reasons for his 2013 dismissal. The Central Bank did not identify the employer.

Seana Cunningham, director of enforcement and anti-money laundering, said Mr Kearns had been sanctioned under terms of the Central Bank’s fitness and probity rules, which require “absolute candour and honesty from applicants”.

In its 16-page prohibition notice, the Central Bank found that Mr Kearns had misled the bank by stating that he had been subject to “unfair dismissal” from his previous job. It said Mr Kearns should have notified bank regulators about the 2016 outcome of his unfair-dismissal lawsuit against that employer.

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The Central Bank building in Dublin. Photo: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

The Central Bank building in Dublin. Photo: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

The Central Bank building in Dublin. Photo: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

The bank said it opened an investigation into Mr Kearns in 2017, focusing on the answers he had provided in his original application to regulators to become an executive director and the 2016 outcome of his unfair dismissal case.

“The EAT (Employment Appeals Tribunal) determination indicated that Mr Kearns had been dismissed for gross misconduct arising from an allegation that he had taken a number of cheques without authorisation which were returned the next day,” the Central Bank report said. “While the EAT accepted Mr Kearns’ explanation for what happened in relation to the cheques as plausible, it upheld the dismissal on the basis that Mr Kearns had failed to properly engage with the process of investigation.”

The report, written by director of asset management and investment banking Michael Hodson, found that Mr Kearns “provided information which he knew or ought to have known was false and misleading”, in part because he had answered “no” when asked if he had ever been dismissed from a job.

Online Editors