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Latest AIB revelations a scandal

27 May, 2004

Commenting on the latest revelations of tax evasion by senior AIB executives, Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:

"It is a scandal that AIB, with the other banks, has benefitted hugely from the Government's cut in Corporation Tax from 16% to 12.5%. AIB made a profit of 1,375 million euro in 2002- the highest ever recorded for an Irish company. Now we are told senior executives have been evading tax.

"Every day brings new revelations about how AIB has ripped off its customers, that it has been doing so for many years, and that it has done so with impunity.Now we have revelations of tax evasion by senior executives using an in-house AIB account.

"The initial estimate for overcharging of foreign exchange customers was 14 million euro - then it was in excess of 25 million and the estimates continue to grow. Last week we saw that purchasers of travellers cheques were charged 1.5% more than they should have been. Then we learned that between 500 and 600 mortgage holders have been paying up to 50 euro extra per month for the past four years without their approval in yet another rip-off of customers by AIB.

"Protections for bank customers and the sanctions for banks are totally inadequate. What action will the government now take to strengthen consumer

protection and to combat this form of white-collar crime?" ENDS

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