Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Questions (52)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

52. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance if a series of matters in relation to a bank (details supplied) will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41262/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

As the Deputy will be aware, AIB/EBS is an independent company with listings on the Irish and London Stock Exchanges. Decisions in regards to commercial agreements are the sole responsibility of the board and management of AIB which must be run on an independent and commercial basis.

The bank's independence is protected by a Relationship Framework which is a legally binding document that cannot be changed unilaterally. This framework which is publicly available, was insisted upon by the European Commission to protect competition in the Irish market. The AIB Relationship Framework can be found here: www.gov.ie/en/publication/597d15-aib-relationship-framework-agreement-june-2017/

Notwithstanding this I am aware that the Central Bank has investigated the matter to which you refer. In October 2018 Deputy Governor Ed Sibley confirmed to members of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach that the regulator had engaged with the various parties and investigated the underlying issues. It was the view of the regulator that this was a commercial dispute between the parties involved.

As the issue is subject to ongoing litigation it would not be appropriate to make any further comment at this time.