IBOA urges review of banking policy as recapitalisation is deferred

Issued : 10 February 2011

Responding to announcement that the Minister for Finance has deferred bank recapitalisation until after the General Election, IBOA General Secretary, Larry Broderick, said that the breathing space created by this decision should be used to reflect on the broader future of the banking sector in Ireland.

"Regardless of the speculation about the motives for the Minister's decision, I believe that it offers an opportunity to review the bigger picture in the financial services sector in this country," he said.

"One of the major frustrations shared by the public at large and by the staff who work in the financial institutions has been the absence of a clear strategic vision for banking in Ireland.

"Decisions appear to be made on ad hoc basis and with a very narrow focus. The steady succession of announcements and revelations - especially those which contradict earlier statements - not only undermines public confidence but also saps the morale of staff who are working in the most challenging of circumstances.

"Both public confidence and staff morale could be sustained if there was a plan in place which was widely understood with a final outcome agreed after consultation with the relevant stakeholders.

"Although we are now almost two and a half years on from the banking guarantee, we are still no nearer that strategic vision - which should not only indicate the role and structure of the domestic institutions but also take account of the operations of foreign-owned banks.

"IBOA is seeking prompt engagement with all of the political parties in order to progress this considered approach to the future of the financial services sector," said Mr. Broderick.