6 Mar 2019, 17.16

The Joint Committee on Rural and Community Development announced today it will pursue the drafting of a Bill that would provide a legal framework for banks’ management of abandoned safety deposits dating back to the 19th century.

The decision follows today’s Committee meeting on the lack of law governing how banks handle safety deposits. Members discussed the issue with Jim Connolly, a former Bank of Ireland official who says historical treasures reside in bank vaults, and with officials from the Department of Finance and the Department of Rural and Community Development.

“It is clear from today’s discussion that a Bill to provide a way forward in managing long-abandoned material in banks nationwide is not just viable but desirable to address issues of consumer protection, private property rights and other matters,” said Committee Chairman Joe Carey TD.

“The Committee may hold a second meeting to hear from representatives of the banking sector. We will seek advice from the Office of the Parliamentary Legal Advisor on drafting a Bill and other steps necessary to progress this issue,” Deputy Carey said.

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Committee membership

Deputies

Fine Gael

Independent

Joe Carey - Chair

Fine Gael

Independent

Sinn Féin

Fianna Fáil

Labour Party

Fianna Fáil

Senators

Fine Gael

Fine Gael

Green Party