Former AIB internal auditor accepts apology from bank and has ‘moved on’

FORMER internal auditor at AIB Eugene McErlean has accepted an apology from the bank’s top brass, adding that he has moved on from feeling any animosity towards the bank.

When addressing a Dáil committee in March, he made a number of claims against his former employers regarding questionable offshore share dealing and overcharging of customers.

Mr McErlean left AIB in 2002.

Despite being accused of sacking him over his concerns on some issues and his failure to notice the high profile rogue trader/fraud case in AIB’s US operations in 2002, AIB claimed yesterday Mr McErlean had not been dismissed at all, but had claimed constructive dismissal believing the report into the John Rusnack fraud at Allfirst Bank implied he was to blame for failing to detect the problem.

“Eugene McErlean was not, in any way culpable for the non-detection of that fraud and the AIB announcement didn’t intend to imply that he was,” AIB chief Eugene Sheehy told the Dáil Committee on Regulatory Affairs.

Mr Sheehy went on to say: “I’m very sorry if he was offended, or was caused distress, at the wording of the announcement. The company didn’t want him to leave. Mr McErlean was a fine auditor and I’m sorry how things turned out.”

Senator Shane Ross suggested Mr McErlean was used as a “fall guy” for saying things that AIB’s board didn’t want aired.

Mr McErlean said he still felt the Financial Regulator had let him down. His stint before the committee, two months ago, suggested the Regulator was involved in a cover-up over some AIB activities.

Mr McErlean said: “I’d like to see it [AIB] operate to the values that it should – transparently and ethically – which is all the more important after the Government’s recapitalisation.”

Meanwhile, Mr Sheehy said the bank’s policy of charging business customers for “management time” – which generated about €6m per annum – was ceased in 2000, after “a review of fees and charges”.

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