Secrecy law remains unchallenged

Mary O’Dea, Consumer Director at the Financial Regulator’s office was asked about the Bank of Ireland lap top scandal on Drivetime (8th minute) yesterday.

“It’s a matter we are investigating so I can’t go into the specific details with you.”

When she was asked how and what they were investigating O’Dea replied.

“I can’t; unfortunately, I’m prohibited by law from going into the details of the investigation.”

It was at this point that RTE presenter, Mary Wilson, should have challenged this civil servant with basic questions such as;

What law exactly are you basing your refusal to provide this information?

Are you absolutely sure that this law forbids you from informing Irish consumers of even the subject matter of your investigation?

Can you email a copy of this particular law to this programme so that we can have our legal team analyse its contents to confirm for our listeners that your interpretation of absolute secrecy is correct?

Is the Financial Regulator happy with this high level of secrecy surrounding its investigative activities?

Is the Financial Regulator happy with the fact that this law poses a serious disadvantage for consumers?

If the Financial Regulator is not happy with this law has there being any attempt to have it repealed?

Are you prepared to come on air again in the near future to defend your position regarding this secrecy law?

Unfortunately, Mary Wilson asked none of these questions and so, in effect, consumers have been let down by two state agencies.

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Financial Regulator