The latest profit figures announced by Allied Irish Banks put into perspective the pathetic powers of Ifrsa, the so called Irish Financial Regulator. Allied Irish Banks, Ireland’s biggest bank, saw its profits before tax reach an average of €9.5m per day as overall pre-tax profit levels reached €1.2 billion.
A maximum fine of €5 million can be imposed on an errant financial institution. This represents about 4 hours profit at AIB. Up to €500,000 can be imposed on an individual which represents about 15 minutes profit at perhaps one of the most corrupt banks in Ireland.
Of course, fines have never been imposed on any Irish financial institution despite revelations of massive theft, tax evasion and other illegal activities in recent years. The only requirement imposed by the toothless Irish regulator is that monies stolen or ‘overcharged’ must be paid back.