I am obviously very concerned at the contents of these tapes. I am advised that the Central Bank is carefully studying the various transcripts emerging. This is something that is viewed very seriously by the Central Bank and they will be liaising with the Gardaí in this regard and is also examining whether or not any breaches of regulatory requirements may have occurred arising from the information contained in the transcripts.
As the Deputy is aware the Garda Síochána are the body responsible for criminal investigations in the State. I understand that the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation have requested access to various documents/materials in the banks, including audio recordings, and that the banks have fully complied with these investigations to date. It would be completely inappropriate for the Department of Finance to act outside of its legal powers and interfere with any investigation that could compromise potential future criminal or civil investigations by the bodies responsible under statute. I am advised that the tapes have previously been provided by Anglo/IBRC to the Gardaí and a number of other authorities involved in investigations relating to Anglo Irish Bank and it is up to them to determine if they will proceed with action on foot of these tapes.
The Government is determined to ensure the public is informed about what happened in Irish Banks in the period leading up to and during the financial crisis. The Government has now published the Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Bill which, if enacted, will provide the legal framework for a banking inquiry to be held within the current constitutional parameters. It is important that all relevant parties participate fully with any resulting inquiry.