Views of public sought on culture of Irish banking

Views of public sought on culture of Irish banking

By Pádraig Hoare

A body to be set up in the wake of the €1bn tracker mortgage scandal and a decade after the financial crash has asked for the public’s submissions on the culture of banks.

The Irish Banking Culture Board which will not be a regulatory body and is being funded by the five major Irish retail banks. 

It said that “only change that comes from within and is informed by public perspectives can be authentic and sustainable”.

The board, which will be in place early next year, will be shaped after consultation with stakeholders from the banking industry, customers, business, politicians and other relevant bodies, its establishment office said.

The tracker mortgage scandal, which happened when more than 37,000 mortgage holders were wrongly put onto more expensive loans by a range of lenders, led to the creation of the new body after a review into banking culture.

The board says it will be independent.

It said that measures it would take will include an online consultation to seek the views of the public that will run for six weeks prior to Christmas, as well as a survey of staff in the five major banks: AIB; Bank of Ireland; Permanent TSB; Ulster Bank and KBC Ireland. 

The body’s establishment office said it was in the process of selecting an independent, non-banking chair to lead it.

Programme director of the IBCB establishment office, Marion Kelly said: “Only change that is informed by the views of the public, and driven from within the banking sector, can work.

“From the role played by banks in the economic collapse, to more recent issues around tracker mortgages, people’s faith in banking has been damaged.

“Change must be authentic and sustainable.”

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