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AIB should be re-called before Dáil Committee

7 May, 2004

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, a member of the Oireachtas Finance and Public Service Committee, has written to the Chairperson, Seán Fleming TD, to request that representatives of Allied Irish Banks should be

re-called before the Committee to account for their overcharging of foreign exchange customers. Last July the Committee heard submissions from the banks, including AIB, and is due to conclude a report on charging practices.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"In July last year John Hickey, General Manager of Retail Banking with AIB, came before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance and the Public Service and told us that AIB charging policy 'reflects our responsibility to deliver transparent, reliable, accessible services that offer our customers choice, convenience and value for money'.

"I have written to the Chairperson, Seán Fleming TD, proposing that AIB be asked to return to the Committee to explain the inconsistency between this statement and the overcharging of foreign exchange customers for the past eight years. Mr.

Hickey should also explain to the Committee how this practice could have been known within AIB since 2002 but allegedly only became known to senior management - including Mr. Hickey - this week.

"In 2002, AIB recorded a profit of E1.375 billion, the highest ever recorded by an Irish company. All customers, not only those directly affected by this type of overcharging, are entitled to know the full facts. AIB has objected to the paltry E300 million bank levy over three years imposed across all the

commercial banks by the Minister for Finance. It has benefitted massively from the Government's reduction in Corporation Tax from 16% to 12.5%.

"It is essential that AIB return to the Oireachtas Finance Committee to make itself accountable before we complete our report on banking charges." ENDS

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