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Doherty criticises Central Bank’s “tiny” fine for Provident

2 December, 2014 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson and Donegal TD Pearse Doherty has criticised the “tiny” fine of €105,000 the Central Bank has imposed on Provident Personal Credit Ltd.

Deputy Doherty, who along with Deputy Padraig MacLochlainn worked with the whistle-blowers in providing information to the Central Bank said:

“I am disappointed by the tiny fine of €105,000 levied on a company which is worth billions.

“In May 2013 I submitted to the Central Bank a detailed dossier compiled by whistle-blowers from Provident.  I wish to commend these whistle-blowers but express my concern that despite reassurances that they would be kept informed of the investigation they still have not heard the outcome of their allegations from the Central Bank.

“The fact that the fine is only related to 117 loans raises questions about how wide and detailed this investigation was. The whistle-blowers at Provident had informed me of thousands of loans that were in breach of the regulations. Similarly I question if only the cases in the Donegal office were investigated.

“The whistle-blowers’ dossier I submitted suggested aggressive lending, top up loans and target driven performance bonuses, reminiscent of the worst practices at major banks which led to such disastrous consequences, are still being felt. The Central Bank only found on two matters and the penalty imposed is no deterrent. To say the whistle blowers I spoke to are disappointed would be a massive understatement.

“We are told the Central Bank has changed and the old culture has been replaced. The tiny fine and the limited investigation and findings suggest the old culture has not been totally eradicated. The jury is still out on the Central Bank’s willingness and ability to face up to rule breakers. One thing for certain is that the message from this fine and investigation is not one likely to encourage whistle-blowers to come forward.”

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