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Bank 'rip off' culture must end

11 February, 2005

Sinn Fein Economy Spokesperson, Foyle MLA Mitchel McLaughlin has said the bank 'rip off' culture that exists not just in the north but throughout Ireland must end.

Mr McLaughlin said:

"This report from the Office of Fair Trading provides ample evidence that banks here are not delivering good value for money.

"In particularly evidence of parallel pricing would point a level of at least unofficial price fixing. Given the huge profits posted by almost all banking institutions it is time that there was an enforceable code of practice.

"Across Ireland banks are making huge profits at the expense of ordinary people. More and more benefits and pensions are paid through bank accounts so it is clear that excessive and unjustified charges will hit those least able to afford it hardest.

"If banks cannot come up with a commitment to provide banking services in an open, fair and transparent manner that in particular deals with the issue of the increasing dependency of people on the banking system then government must take action.

"The 'rip off' culture that exists throughout banking must end." ENDS

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