Accounting firm, Ernst & Young (EY) has received fees from the Central Bank totalling between €21m and €22m over the past two years.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan confirmed that last year the Central Bank increased its pay to EY by 20% — from €9.5m to €10m in 2013, to between €11.5m to €12m last year.
Between 2011 and 2015, Mr Noonan confirmed in a written Dáil reply to Fine Gael Deputy Joe Carey, that the Central Bank paid EY between €25m and €27.5m in fees. However, the Central Bank yesterday refused to say what type of work EY engaged in, over the last two years, in order to receive the large fee pay-out.
The state body said: “The Central Bank is not in a position to provide the additional information you’ve requested at this time.”
The bank declined to give a reason why it was refusing to provide the information.
Famously, EY was the auditor of Anglo Irish Bank before the bust, earning €10.3m in fees from the bank over a 10-year period. Currently, an action by the IBRC, formerly Anglo Irish Bank — claiming more than €50m 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.
However, EY’s controversial association with Anglo Irish Bank has done nothing to impede its earning power here.
EY Ireland recorded an 18% increase in revenues to the end of June 2014 going from €141.49m to €166m.
Deputy Carey said yesterday: “The size of the payments would strongly suggest a requirement to disclose what the fees were for. Some indication should be given, because in the region of €30m has been paid to Ernst and Young over the last five years.
He said: “This is a significant amount of money at a time when the public finances were under pressure and families were making significant sacrifices to help get the country back on its feet.
He pointed out: “The Central Bank requires a level of transparency from financial institutions in this State. Therefore, I think it is reasonable that the Central Bank would disclose what these payment were for and apply the same level of transparency to itself.”
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