IBRC boss: Widen Siteserv probe to cover AIB and Nama

The former chief executive of IBRC has claimed Finance Minister Michael Noonan should extend the Siteserv probe to include multi-million euro debt write-downs by AIB and Nama if he really wants to uncover the full depth of the situation.

IBRC boss: Widen Siteserv probe to cover AIB and Nama

Speaking as fresh concerns emerged in the Siteserv saga, Mr Aynsley insisted his former company was not the only bank cutting deals for as yet unexplained reasons.

When Siteserv was sold by IBRC in March 2012 to the Denis O Brien-owned firm Millington for €45m, the bank effectively wrote off €105m owed to it by the sold company, a decision former IBRC chairman Alan Dukes said on Friday was because of other elements in the agreement.

The sale is now being examined by the special liquidators to IBRC, Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson, alongside 30 other transactions by IBRC (formerly Anglo Irish Bank) which cost more than €10m.

The results of the probe will not be known until the end of August. However, Mr Aynsley in a weekend newspaper said if Government is genuinely interested in uncovering the extent of such deals between banks and millionaire borrowers then it should stop confining itself to his former institution and also look at a “sample” of agreements conducted by AIB and the State-owned bank Nama.

“If [Finance Minister] Michael Noonan is serious about reviewing loan transactions where significant write-downs have occurred, then there should be a similar review of a reasonable sampling of transactions at Nama, as well as AIB for that matter,” he said.

The suggestion to widen the scope of the investigation comes amid fresh concerns over Siteserv share sales in the period before the sale.

The issues have led to calls for the stock exchange to open its own inquiry into the proceedings, and for the share register of Siteserv to be immediately made public.

Meanwhile, it has been claimed that former IBRC chairman Alan Dukes tried to “terminate” the appointment of a senior Department of Finance official to IBRC on secondment during a period of significant animosity between the institutions.

The official had been sent to IBRC to “build bridges between the bank and the Department of Finance”.

However, in a letter written on January 28, 2013, to department secretary general John Moran, Mr Dukes heavily criticised the person’s role and said it was being “terminated at close of business today”.

In a statement about the relationship between IBRC and the Department of Finance at the time, released on Saturday night, Mr Moran defended civil servants who questioned the sale of Siteserv and asked “the right questions”.

He said it is “regrettable and a step back to pre-crisis mindsets among bank management that what seems to have been happening [in recent days] are personal attacks on civil servants asking the right questions”.

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