29/10/2010

Prosecutions Looming Against 'Subversive' Banks

Some of Ireland's top banking figures have been described as "subversives" while files against them are being prepared by Gardaí, the Dáil heard yesterday.

During yesterday's second day of economic debate, Fine Gael TD Leo Varadkar said top banking figures should be arrested and prosecuted, adding they had "done as much damage to the economy as subversives".

Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan said files are being prepared by gardaí for submission to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), arising from the investigation into reckless lending by banks.

In February 2009, Gardaí from the Bureau of Fraud Investigation raided the offices of Anglo Irish Bank over disclosures the bank had made secret loans of hundreds of millions of euro to former Directors and had engaged in hiding massive losses.

The bank subsequently had to be saved by the taxpayer at an ever increasing price, most recently suggested to be €29.3 billion. The figure is close to the current deficit facing the State, responsible for the recent and coming cuts in Government spending.

Mr Lenihan said reckless lending was the core problem in the banks and reminded the Dáil he had previously stated there were serious issues of corporate governance in the banks. He said both gardaí and the Office of Corporate Enforcement had been investigating.

Mr Vardkars colleague and Fine Gael Finance spokesman Michael Noonan said the comments by Mr Varadkar reflected the way people feel at the moment.

Mr Noonan said the Minister for Justice has ways of contacting gardaí and that he should get a report into the investigations into the banking crisis and relay it's findings to the Dáil.

(DW)

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