Probe into Anglo ‘potential fraud’

AIB has begun an investigation into potential instances of fraud relating to the deposit book of Anglo Irish Bank, which it acquired earlier this year.

In a short statement issued yesterday, the bank said that it started the investigation following a recent customer enquiry and was quick to add that whether or not it finds any proof of fraudulent activity having occurred, that none of its customers will suffer any financial loss.

“AIB began an investigation into whether any fraud occurred in a small number of transactions concerning certain discrete funds in the deposit book that was acquired from Anglo Irish Bank. In the event that fraudulent activity has occurred, AIB confirms any such transactions will be for the account of the bank and that customers will suffer no financial loss,” the statement said.

It added that the bank is currently collaborating closely with Anglo Irish Bank on the investigation and that the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation (GBFI) and the Central Bank have been informed. The Central Bank made no comment on the matter yesterday, other than to confirm that it was aware of the situation.

A spokesperson for AIB said they couldn’t add detail to what was communicated in the company statement, but confirmed that the matter had been raised by a single customer within the last fortnight and that the bank was now examining something that looks like it was fraudulent. They declined to speculate on how much money was involved, what type of accounts are under investigation, how many customers might have been involved and how long the process might take.

It is thought, however, that the probe is focusing on a relatively small number of funds and that the amount of money involved is relatively minor.

AIB acquired €8.6 billion worth of Anglo Irish Bank deposits back in February as part of the wind-down process of Anglo and Irish Nationwide (the latter’s deposit book transferring to Irish Life & Permanent).

Earlier this month, AIB acquired the EBS Building Society to effectively form one of the two “pillars” of the changing Irish banking system.

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