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Doherty moves legislation imposing jail sentences for lying to the Central Bank

24 January, 2018 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has today moved the Central Bank (Amendment) Bill 2018, that will impose jail sentences of up to five years on a banker or any individual in a financial institution, who provides misleading or false information to the Central Bank.

Deputy Doherty said:

"I am proud to move this Bill which should be seen as part of the jigsaw in creating a genuine campaign to seriously take on white collar crime and hold people to account for their actions. The Bill allows for bankers or anybody else who lies to the Central Bank to face jail sentences of up to five years.

"In 2015 the Central Bank Governor at the time, Patrick Honohan, wrote to the Minister for Finance pointing out a lacuna or loophole in the Central Bank legislation that, to quote the Governor: 'effectively [allowed] individuals to act without responsibility for their actions of lying or misleading'.

"Yet no action has been taken two and a half years later.

"Yesterday once again the Finance Committee and the many victims listening were once again subjected a major bank telling us that nobody in particular was responsible for the theft of hundreds of millions of euro stolen from customers of the banks.

"As things stand though, no bank official, or CEO, or board member, or any insurer, who spun a web of lies to the Central Bank and to thousands of customers can be held accountable for their actions - for what they did and said, for the lies they told, unless the whole institution is found to be in breach of the law.

"This must change and this Bill is about bringing about that change.

"That has to change. I believe today could be the day when the change starts - when bankers, insurers or anybody else who misleads or lies to the Central Bank will be held accountable and face jail if found guilty of the offences under this Bill.”

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