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Ó Caoláin backs calls for leading banks to answer to Oireachtas Committee

9 June, 2003

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, a member of the Oireachtas Joint Commmittee on Finance and the Public Service has called for the CEOs of the leading Irish banks to attend a special hearing of the Committee to explain the leading Irish banks' failure to pass on the European Central Bank's interest rate cut. Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"It is a disgrace that unlike the majority of financial institutions in the EU, the leading Irish banks, AIB and Bank of Ireland, have not passed on the interest rate cut. It is yet another example of the fleecing of customers which they have been allowed to get away with for too long.

"I have today written to the Chairperson of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance and the Public Service, Deputy Seán Fleming, urging a special meeting to which representatives of the banks would be invited. Let them come and explain themselves to the elected representatives of the people they exploit so freely. We also need to examine the whole system of bank charges and the disregard of the banks for people in rural areas where they continue to close branches.

"Finance Minister McCreevy's statement that the situation should be left to the market to sort out does not make sense because we do not have enough competitive diversity in financial services in Ireland, with the big players like AIB and Bank of Ireland dominating, and these virtual monopolies are subject to no real control by the State."ENDS

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