As the Deputy is aware, I have no statutory function in relation to banking decisions made by individual lending institutions at any particular time. This is ultimately a commercial decision for the management team and board of each bank, having due regard to their customers and the impact on profitability. Notwithstanding the fact that the State is a minority shareholder in Bank of Ireland, I must ensure that the bank is run on a commercial, cost effective and independent basis to ensure its value as an asset to the State, as per the Memorandum on Economic and Financial Policies agreed with the EU Commission, the ECB and the IMF. A Relationship Framework has been specified that defines the nature of the relationship between the Minister for Finance and each bank. These Frameworks were published on 30 March 2012 and can be found athttp://banking.finance.gov.ie/presentations-and-latest-documents/.
Under the terms of the Relationship Framework, this would be considered a commercial matter and therefore not require prior ministerial approval. As I recently responded to Deputy McGrath in PQ 16720/13, Bank of Ireland supplied the following information in response to the Deputy’s question on plans in relation to outsourcing:
"Bank of Ireland reviews on an on-going basis how best to deliver products and services to its customers in an efficient, cost effective and empathetic manner. As a matter of policy Bank of Ireland, as a commercial organisation, does not make public comments on its commercial deliberations unless or until these are considered to be issues which will have a material impact on the Group's operations, financial statements, customers and/or staff."