Future role of AIB needs to be mapped out – Reilly
This afternoon, when she spoke in the Seanad at Second Stage of the Finance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, Sinn Féin’s Kathryn Reilly called for a serious debate and strategic thinking on the role of AIB and wider banking services in Ireland’s economy.
Senator Reilly said:
“Now that AIB has received approval from the Single Supervisory Mechanism in Frankfurt to restructure its capital base and begin to repay the state, it is important that there is serious engagement and strategic thinking around the role which AIB plays in Ireland’s economy.
“AIB is only beginning to repay the state; however, despite media and government spin, it is quite some distance from repaying the Irish people.
“Some politics and commentators sought to obfuscate the true cost of the bailout to the Irish state by only referring to the recapitalisation cost and other selective figures. However, a recent report from the Comptroller and Auditor General showed the cost of the bailout of AIB to be €43 billion when including the recapitalisation costs with interest and other costs paid on the bank bailout still costing the State every year.
“There is however no strategic coherent vision of how to use our banking assets. It seems the only vague vision is to sell back to private investors what cost the public billions of euro.
“AIB is a valuable State asset and the democratic influence should be brought to bear on the institution to make it work for the benefit of the Irish economy and people. Sinn Féin hopes that we will soon see the beginning of a more realistic way of using the influence bought at huge cost to the Irish people at that bank.
“Therefore I am taking this opportunity to call on the Minister to begin a full and proper debate with all parties as to how the State should use its shareholdings in the other banks to benefit the Irish economy, society, and people.”