Thursday, 28 November 2019

Questions (80)

Maurice Quinlivan


80. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a bank (details supplied) has recently sold an €850 million non-performing loan portfolio for the discounted price of €700 million to a company; if his attention has been further drawn to the fact that the company is attempting to eliminate future retirement benefits for supermarket workers in the United States of America; his views on whether the State should use its influence in majority State-owned banks to ensure that investment firms that seek to do business with them are accountable for their treatment of workers in other jurisdictions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49586/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

As Deputy is aware I have no role in the commercial activities of any bank operating in the Irish market.

The Deputy will be further aware, as Minister for Finance, I cannot stop or reverse loan sales even by the banks in which the State has a shareholding. Decisions in this regard, as well as the criteria used to decide the make-up of loans to be included and the selection process applied to bidders, are the sole responsibility of the board and management of the banks which must be run on an independent and commercial basis. The banks’ independence is protected by Relationship Frameworks which are legally binding documents that I cannot change unilaterally. These frameworks, which are publicly available, were insisted upon by the European Commission to protect competition in the Irish market.