Government rejects FG’s banking crisis claims

KEY banking documents released to the public accounts committee continue to stoke animosity between the Government and opposition over the meaning of advice provided on whether the lenders should have been guaranteed in 2008.

Last night Finance Minister Brian Lenihan attempted to dismiss Fine Gael’s finance spokesman Michael Noonan’s assessment of the trail of events which led up to the banking collapse.

He said the Government had been planning in case a financial crisis struck. And it had taken on the advice given to it, which was to rescue the banks. “Contrary to what Deputy Noonan claims, the documents released indicate that the Government was aware of the turbulence in the international financial markets.

“The documents show the Government and its officials were actively engaged in contingency planning in response to the fast changing financial crisis and alive to its possible implications for the Irish financial system,” he said.

However, Mr Noonan said the paperwork revealed the Government had ignored the looming crisis as it developed in 2008.

He said the Government had been clearly warned about the banks inability to stay afloat, but had ignored the key issues of solvency and acted as if the only problem in the system was a shortage of cash.

Elsewhere, the public accounts committee has released its assessment of the lessons Ireland could learn from Iceland’s handling of its financial collapse.

Late last month a delegation from the committee travelled to Iceland to examine its response to the crisis and met key players in its efforts to recover.

Its report said greater role has been given to Iceland’s parliamentary committees to ensure the lessons learned were implemented.

PAC chairman Bernard Allen said the work to ensure personal culpability among those responsible has been key to Iceland’s response and the speed of its investigations have bested our actions to date.


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