Bank of Scotland boss fends off attack

BANK of Scotland Irish boss Mark Duffy has reacted angrily to the assault on the company by the Irish Bankers Federation and others in the banking sector.

It seemed more than a coincidence that the president of the IBF, Donal Forde, the Bank of Ireland press officer and the boss of Irish Life & Permanent have launched various attacks on the bank in the past week or so, said Mr Duffy.

The jibe that triggered Mr Duffy’s anger most was the one delivered by David Went, boss of IL&P, when he referred to bankers in kilts not paying their levies to the state.

“Mr Went got his facts wrong on that,” said Mr Duffy, speaking from Stockholm yesterday morning. Mr Duffy has been highly critical of the Irish banks in recent months and said he believed the attack on the cartel nature of the industry by the Consumers Association last week was basically right.

Irish bankers are a cosy cartel and many in the country believe that to be the case also. To a very significant degree, Mr Duffy’s bank exposed the cartel when it undercut the then mortgage rate.

Outlining the catalogue of attacks on the bank over the past week, Mr Duffy said it looked more than a coincidence that even the president of the Irish Bankers’ Federation, of which Bank of Scotland is a member, should launch an attack on the bank.

Over the same period, Phil Flynn was rejected as a mediator in the Bank of Ireland dispute because of his chairmanship of Bank of Scotland.

And meanwhile, Mr Went accused the bank of not paying its share of the bank levy.

It paid €2m in the first of this “for the record,” said Mr Duffy.

Defending his criticisms of the Scottish-owned bank, AIB senior officer Donal Forde said he would do exactly the same if any of the other banks had made unfounded allegations against the sector.

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