Wednesday 29 January 2020

Bank behaviour is pure thuggery

Sir -- Many years ago, the AIB branch in Sligo was known as 'John Ford's Bank'; named after a long serving manager who was respected for his knowledge and integrity. He retired just as the Munster and Leinster Bank he served, joined with the Provincial and Royal Banks to form AIB.

The distressed article by a businessman (Sunday Independent, Feb 7, 2010) on how banks in Ireland operate must be very offensive to old style managers who valued long term relationships. The bully-boy tactics outlined are little better than those of the Kray brothers when they ran 'protection' rackets in London's East End.

One can imagine the dreaded phone call on Monday mornings asking for a lodgement and when it will be paid in. This is thuggery pure and simple.

Ireland's banks got too big for their boots and blew their capital on crazy property speculative projects. Three billion alone was pumped into the UK property market by BOI in 2007. Where is the money for small businesses? There isn't any. It has been blown. Or will have to be provided by the Irish taxpayer.

When the dust finally settles on Irish banks, they will need to be broken up into smaller regional units. Managers should be recruited who have local knowledge and have more discretion as to lending limits. We need more John Fords in Irish banking and fewer Masters of the Universe.

Bernard O'Grady,

Muswell Hill, London

Sunday Independent

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