The farce that is financial regulation in Ireland continues. The latest joke concerns allegations that banks are overcharging customers who break out of a fixed-rate mortgage (Sunday Business Post).
(Big John Wayne) Lenihan apparently heard that banks were carrying out such dastardly acts and immediately ordered the Financial Regulator to investigate.
The FR, in keeping with its high standards of professionalism and concern for the best interests of consumers approached the banks and politely asked them if they were stealing from customers.
The banks, in keeping with their high standards of honesty, integrity and concern for the best interests of consumers, carried out an in depth investigation which, I believe, included asking the janitor, but found no evidence of wrong doing.
(Big John Wayne) Lenihan was pleased and in that endearing tongue twisting manner of his, he announced:
The regulator concluded, and has confirmed to my department, that its analysis indicates that the early redemption fee calculation in all cases appears to seek to recover costs and that lenders do not generally apply additional fees in the case of early redemption.
But wait – Big John spotted something amiss. The findings were based solely on material provided by the lending institutions themselves so in case there was the slightest risk that the legendary honesty of Irish financial institutions could be blemished in any way Big John Lenihan ordered the FR to carry out at least six on-site inspections.
A spokesperson for the financial institutions said that just because they were aware months ago of media allegations of wrong doing, were aware some commentators had expressed concern about possible wrong doing, were aware of polite questions by the Financial Regulator and were now aware that the FR was about to carry out on-site investigations with, of course, the usual prior notice of exact times and locations, did not mean that they would attempt to organise a cover up of any wrong doing.
A spokesperson for the Financial Regulator (under cover of darkness and wearing a hood) said that because of strict secrecy laws it was unable to confirm or deny reports of any wrong doing, was unable to confirm if (Big John Wayne) Lenihan was the Minister involved, was unable to confirm if it actually had powers to investigate banks and indeed was even unable to confirm if the entity commonly known as the Irish Financial Regulator really existed but the spokesperson did admit that most Irish citizens don’t really believe that it does.