Banking inquiry costs an average of €50k per day

The cost of the Oireachtas banking inquiry has soared to €3.5m, new figures show.

A progress report released by the inquiry shows the cost increased by €1.3m in the last quarter.

The spend between April 1 and June 30 works out at more than €76,000 per week or €48,370 for each of the 27 days the inquiry sat in public during the three months.

The inquiry’s scoping and establishment costs totalled €1m and the running costs from November 6 to June 30 amounted to €2.47m.

The report states that the project is “on track”.

The inquiry is backed up by 51 staff in the inquiry support centre, made up of 24 in its secretariat and administration; 20 in its investigation team, and a seven-strong legal team.

The report reveals that between November and the end of June, €1.97m has been spent on inquiry staffing, made up of payments of €834,000 to the investigation team; some €908,000 to the secretariat, and €234,000 to members’ staff.

In relation to external services, the inquiry has spent €164,000 on legal costs and an additional €160,000 to the context team.

The public hearing costs total €136,000 with witness expenses of €9,000 and miscellaneous costs of €29,000.

The inquiry is currently going through the Nexus Phase and has heard evidence from former taoisaigh Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen and other individuals who had a role during the crisis. As part of the Nexus phase, the inquiry has received 47,000 documents or more than 580,000 pages to date from the participants.

These included documents from AIB/EBS, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, and Permanent TSB along with the banks’ auditors Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC.

The Nexus phase will comprise of 85 public hearing sessions across 33 days over 16 weeks. In total, the phase will hear from 100 witnesses with 47 examined between April 22 and June 30.

Along with its public sessions, the committee has met in private 13 times in the period with the committee to hold 25 private sessions in all during the Nexus phase.

This is the second progress report from the committee .

The Context phase, which set out the background to the financial crisis in 2008, involved some 34 witnesses appearing at 31 public sessions from December to March.

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