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Proper payback from the banks for the use of the Irish people's good name - McDonald

4 October, 2008

The Sinn Féin leadership are meeting in Dublin today for the party's monthly Ard Chomhairle to discuss the financial crisis that has dominated the past number of weeks. Speaking after the meeting Mary Lou McDonald said that the Finance Minister had been given extensive powers over the banking sector and he needed to use this power in the national interest. He needed to ensure that there is proper payback from the banks for the use of the Irish people's good name."

The Dublin MEP said:

"This weeks intervention by the state was about a lot more than simply bailing out the banks, it's about offering security to ordinary citizens, to investors and to Irish businesses which in turn means jobs. Stabilising the states banking sector thus enabling it to trade on the international stage was critical. This week was not a time for politicking. It was a week for hard debate and responsible decision making. It was and will continue to be a time for holding both the banking and government sector to account.

There now needs to be emphasis now on the terms and conditions that must be placed on the bank to ensure a proper payback for the Irish taxpayer. At a very minimum there needs to be;

  • A new bank levy, a proportion of this money should be diverted to MABS to help homeowners currently in difficulty.
  • Requirement to negotiate with mortgage holders on low incomes a plan for the reasonable repayment of their mortgage, including a moratorium on home repossessions of those families struggling to make payments
  • Initiatives to review the writing off of negative equity in homes
  • A refocus of banking business in support of indigenous small and medium business particularly those in the export sector
  • Introduction of strict regulatory regime to monitor bank practice.
  • Requirement on bank management to forego bonuses for the length of time covered by this guarantee
  • Review of salary structure of executive level management
  • Pay should now be awarded on the basis of consistent salaries -- not on performance returns and risk
  • Two year performance review of all those in executive level management

We will be requesting to meet with Minister Lenihan in the coming week to ensure there is proper payback for the Irish taxpayer, we are also calling on the Minister to bring together Finance spokespersons from all party's to get a consensus on the terms and conditions that should and must apply." ENDS

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