By Eamon Quinn
A Garda investigation is ongoing into the matters surrounding a sum understood to be €218,000 involved in a prize draw over many years at a bus drivers’ credit union, Citybus Employees’ Credit Union.
The investigation comes as the Central Bank, which oversees credit unions, issued a ‘prohibition notice’ against a former director at the credit union, David Stamper, which bars him from serving in any high-level position in a financial services firm “for an indefinite period”.
“The prohibition arises from the Central Bank’s investigation into Mr Stamper’s management of the members’ prize draw in Citybus CU and its finding that Mr Stamper was responsible for the misappropriation of a significant sum of money from Citybus CU between 2010 and 2015. Mr Stamper co-operated fully with the Central Bank’s investigation,” the regulator said in a statement.
A spokeswoman for the credit union said its “routine review” of the prize draw had brought the matter to light, and it had informed its members at an annual general meeting in June.
“The credit union took all appropriate steps to deal with this issue swiftly and immediately informed the relevant authorities — the Registry of Credit Unions (Central Bank) and An Garda Síochána,” the City Bus Employees’ Credit Union said. “As this matter is the subject of an ongoing Garda investigation, we are not in a position to make any further comment at this time,” it said, adding that business continues and the savings of its 2,800 members weren’t affected.
Of four other prohibition notices issued by the Central Bank in recent years, two related to staff (a former manager and former assistant manager) at Rush Credit Union in north Dublin.
“The Central Bank will continue to hold individuals to account when they fall short of expected standards of fitness and probity.
“These high standards are what the financial services industry and the wider community rightly expect of its senior individuals,” said Seana Cunningham, the director of enforcement and anti-money laundering at the Central Bank.
“Mr Stamper’s conduct fell far short of these standards, justifying the issuance of a prohibition order of indefinite duration, which is the most serious possible outcome to a fitness and probity investigation.
“Individual behaviour is shaped by a firm’s culture, which is in turn shaped by senior management.
“The Central Bank is committed to achieving greater individual accountability among senior management in the financial services sector,” she said.