|Posted on May 7, 2014 at 9:35 AM|
Fine Gael Kerry Senator and Seanad Chief Whip, Paul Coghlan, has raised further concerns about the actions of foreign banks exiting the Irish market. Senator Coghlan made his comments today (Wednesday) during Order of Business in the Seanad.
“The Credit Reviewer, Mr John Trethowan, yesterday told the Oireachtas Jobs Committee of his concerns about the impact on small businesses of the strategies being employed foreign banks exiting the Irish marketplace. I first raised this issue with the Governor of the Central Bank during his appearance before the Finance Committee last week.
“In the interim I have received numerous examples of foreign banks winding down their business here with scant regard to the wreckage they are leaving behind. In particular their slash and burn approach is causing huge uncertainty for SMEs in key sectors of the economy including the retail, licensed and catering sectors, where some of these banks were heavily represented.
“Among the disturbing practices outlined to me are: · Reneging on agreements reached with borrowers on restructuring debt
· Being all too willing to appoint receivers over trading assets for viable trading companies
· Asking borrowers to refinance their borrowings with other banks and then refusing to accept the offers based on the maximum current asset value
· Refusing to give borrowers any reasons for decisions made or not disclosing any basis for reaching a resolution with them
· Operating farcical appeals processes against decisions taken by the bank, with no level of independence and with a predetermined outcome in mind
· An ad hoc approach to staff, with staff leaving and no continuity in either personnel or approach
· Treating vulnerable SME owners and operators in a cruel and manipulative manner
“I intend sending accounts of the information that I have received to Governor Honohan and the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD. It is important that these institutions are called to account and not allowed to continue to abuse their positions. I have asked the Finance Committee to summon the CEOs of these banks to detail their approach to exiting the market and we should focus on Danske Bank, Certus (formerly Bank of Scotland Ireland), ACC/Rabobank and some parts of Ulster Banks non-core operations in Ireland.
“We cannot allow these institutions to inflict structural damage on our SMEs and impede our recovery as they seek to maximise the amount they extract from distressed customers.”