The following is an update on the matter of the Central Bank’s refusal to disclose even the most basic information regarding the latest scams in the Irish banking sector.
Those scams were:
Banks had charged thousands of homeowners the wrong interest rates on their mortgages.
Banks had misled customers with money in deposit accounts by promoting term and interest rates that were later changed once people signed up for the accounts.
Banks had short-changed thousands of customers on (other) interest rates.
The so called Financial Regulator (The Central Bank) is refusing to disclose even the most basic information regarding these scams.
This type of state secrecy can have potentially very serious consequences for citizens who may have dealings with these institutions.
As advised by an official in the Public Contacts Unit of the Central Bank I wrote to the bank requesting the following information.
Is it official policy not to name financial institutions that are guilty of such activities?
Is the policy in writing, and if so, where can it be located?
If the policy is not in writing where and by whom did it originate and how is it communicated to Central Bank staff?
The Central Bank replied:
Due to the confidentiality requirements imposed by domestic and EU legislation which provides for confidentiality of information relating to ongoing supervision and limits disclosure to circumstances specifically provided for in the Central Bank Act 1942(as amended) we are prohibited from releasing supervisory information regarding any institution.
I would draw you attention in particular to Section 33AKof the Central Bank Act 1942 (as amended).
I will give you the benefit of doubt and assume you are an intelligent person, a benefit you clearly do not extend to me judging from the content of your email.
You will be aware that Irish banks and other financial institutions have been plundering customers and state accounts for many decades with complete impunity.
Despite this fact not a single financial institution or official has ever been charged with a crime since the establishment of our state in 1922.
This can only mean that Irish financial institutions are among the most honest in the history of the world or financial regulation in Ireland is not seen as an integral part of democratic accountability as it is in real democracies.
A person with even a smidgeon of intelligence can see that the latter is the case.
Your organisation is refusing to name the institutions, the number of customers or the level of funds involved in this latest fraud on Irish citizens.
No other country in the world, not even the most corrupt banana republic, would refuse such basic information to its citizens.
Let me be blunt, your organisation is, effectively, protecting the thieving vermin that infest the Irish financial sector at the expense of Irish citizens.
I look forward to the day, hopefully very soon, when the people who make and enforce such Soviet style secrecy laws are stripped of their power and influence.
I have no doubt whatsoever that the great majority of ordinary Irish citizens are of the same view.