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Corporate crime agency needs beefing up in response to huge influx of corporate assets – Quinlivan

8 February, 2019 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan TD today said that the state’s white collar crime agency needs to be beefed up to take account of the massive influx of corporate assets and financial firms that has occurred due to Brexit.

Speaking today, Teachta Quinlivan said;

“It is scandalous that, ten years after the collapse of the economy which was due in large part to the reckless behaviour of banks, the agency tasked with monitoring compliance with company law still just employs 40 individuals.

“This is nowhere near the number of personnel needed to robustly enforce corporate law in Ireland, and it shows the government have learned nothing from Fianna Fáil’s previous catastrophic laissez faire approach to white collar crime.

“I am also deeply concerned that action is not being taken to account for the huge influx of corporate assets to these shores as a result of Brexit.

“Just last week, Barclays Bank received approval from the British High Court to move €190 billion of assets to Ireland.

“This comes in addition to a swathe of other financial and legal firms moving their operations here as a result of Brexit.

“The IDA has said last year alone they secured 55 new investments as a result of Brexit, bringing 4,500 additional jobs to Ireland, in major financial and legal firms such as Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and DLA Piper.

“Although these jobs are very welcome, these investments have resulted in a significant expansion of the value of corporate assets coming under Irish jurisdiction, and a large expansion in the number of firms and employees now operating under Irish company law.

“I would be very concerned that this expansion has not been met with an appropriate increase in the number of personnel employed by the state to monitor company law compliance.

“This week, the Joint Committee on Business, Enterprise and Innovation examined the government’s proposals for a new white collar crime agency, and we in Sinn Féin are not satisfied that these proposals go nearly far enough.

“The ODCE needs to be beefed up substantially to deal with this expansion in Brexit related investments until the new corporate crime authority is established, and the new authority needs to be given significantly more funding and powers than what is currently envisaged.” 

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