PAC gets files covering night of bank guarantee

POLITICIANS probing the bank guarantee have obtained up to 40 files on ministers’ meetings, legal advice and the role of banks on the night the state assurance on deposits was agreed.

The Department of Finance has released a series of documents about the moments leading up to the night of September 29, 2008, when the contentious guarantee was agreed by Government.

The Irish Examiner has learnt that the documents include a series of correspondence by date, including with a number of ministers who met in the department, legal advice received about the guarantee, as well communication from the banks.

The files were handed over to TDs after the department sought advice about their release from the Attorney General.

The released files include correspondence from Anglo Irish Bank about the deposit guarantees. The initial two-year state guarantee was introduced amid fears of a run on Anglo Irish Bank.

Communication from a number of commercial bodies as well as outside advisers to the Government are also included in the files. Among the files are memos, letters, notes from meetings, as well as redacted documents.

PAC chairman Bernard Allen in a statement said: “We intend to carefully consider this information next week to try to establish if the decision [on the guarantee] was in the best in the interest of taxpayers... The decision to guarantee the banks has been a burden on the taxpayer and we are determined to try and find out if it was a necessary one.”

Meanwhile, the head of Fás who appeared at PAC this week has defended a litany of accusations about emerging scandals at the state jobs agency.

Director general Paul O’Toole said Fás was carrying out a “root and branch” review of its embattled training courses.


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