Central Bank spends €119m on fees since 2011

The Central Bank has spent €119m on professional fees since 2011, including expenditure of €27.55m last year.

Central Bank spends €119m on fees since 2011

Figures released by the Central Bank in response to a Freedom of Information request show the spend last year was marginally higher than the 2013 spend of €26.98m.

The largest annual spend over the period was in 2011, when €35.2m was spent.

However, the lowest spend, on a pro-rata basis, is this year, with €7m spent on professional fees for the first six months.

The big winner over the period was accountancy firm Ernst & Young (EY), which received €26.8m in fees including €11m last year and €9.6m in 2013.

The payments to EY represent 21% of the overall amount paid out by the Central Bank in professional fees since 2011.

The payments to EY have slowed dramatically this year, with the firm receiving €396,016 for the first six months of this year.

EY was auditor of Anglo Irish Bank before the financial bust.

Currently, an action by the IBRC, formerly Anglo Irish Bank, claiming damages against EY over an alleged failure to uncover alleged “improper” loan transactions remains before the courts.

Solicitors for EY wrote to the bank’s solicitors in January 2011 saying the firm had considered the issue of disclosure of directors’ loans and obtained information from the bank and individual directors on which it relied.

EY Ireland recorded an 18% increase in revenues to the end of June 2014, increasing from €141.49m to €166m.

Another member of the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms, KPMG, received €13.42m in fees, while Blackrock Financial Management received €23m in fees with €22m of that amount paid out in 2012 and 2011.

The overall total includes legal fees and the top earning legal firm over the five years is McCann FitzGerald, which received €5.82m with the largest proportion, €2.1m, received by the firm this year.

Deloitte and Touche also feature in the top 10, receiving €5.85m for audit fees and accountancy over the five years including €2.1m last year.

Another major legal firm, Arthur Cox has received €3m in fees during the period while the Boston Consulting Group received €4.87m over the period with the vast majority of those fees, €3.97m, in 2011.

Barclays Bank also received fees of €5.2m with €4.7m received in 2011, while Grant Thornton received fees totalling €2.5m over the period.

Other firms to receive in excess of €1m over the period include Client Solutions Ltd which received €1.26m, with the bulk of the monies at €758,508 received this year.

Consultancy firm D-Fine also received over €1m with €796,256 received in 2012, while Equiniti ICS Ltd receiving €1.73m with €251,895 received this year and €508,237 received last year.

Mazars legal firm received fees of €1.8m, including fees of €1.75m in 2011.

Abtran, the outsourcing firm that has secured major contracts with Revenue and Irish Water, was paid €664,472 over the period, including €184,215 last year.

PwC received fees of €986,127 over the five- year period. RSM Grant Farrell Sparks received fees of €857,618, while MKO Partners got €811,512 in fees.

Other legal firms that enjoy substantial fee income from the Central Bank over the period include Mason, Hayes and Curran, which got €558,886 and Matheson which received €383,392.

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