Banks gave away Ryder Cup and city trips during boom

The largesse bestowed by the banks on some property developers during the boom years included trips to the Ryder Cup in Kentucky, to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and the Monaco Grand Prix.

Such extravagant hospitality was “common practice” in the banking industry according to John O’Donnell, AIB chief financial officer in his written statement to the banking inquiry, published yesterday.

In a separate statement, Gerard Gannon, of Gannon Homes, outlined how he was taken to Kentucky in 2008 for the Ryder Cup by AIB, how Anglo Irish Bank funded a trip to Venice, and how executive director Aidan Kenny was taken to Paris.

Peter Cosgrave, of the Cosgrave Property Group, said senior management were either invited to or attended golf days funded by Ulster bank, AIB, EBS, and Bank of Ireland (BoI) in the UK, France and the US; the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (BoI); a one-off ski-trip (Ulster Bank); Ryder Cup USA (AIB), Monaco Grand Prix (AIB). Colm Doherty, former managing director of AIB Capital Markets, said that “our entertainment was multifaceted, occurring across a number of countries in which we operated”.

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