Sunday 25 February 2018

The banks we own have let us down again

WITH all due apologies to the late, great Winston Churchill, as we contemplate the record of the Irish banks over the past five years, we must conclude that: never was so much given by so many to so few and with such an abysmal response. Alright, it is naive to expect gratitude from banks to the long-suffering taxpayers who continue to shoulder the burdens created by past bankers' greed and stupidity. Granted, we have long ago had to accept that the banks are central to our economic functioning and had to be bailed out.

But scarcely a week goes by without another example of our banks adding to ordinary citizens' anger and frustration at their behaviour. Today a report in this newspaper reveals that interest rates for savings products sold through An Post are to be cut significantly.

The decision follows lobbying from the key banks: Bank of Ireland, in which the citizens hold 15pc of shares; and Allied Irish Bank, which is totally owned by the taxpayer.

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