Banking inquiry members criticise ‘weak’ final report

It is understood some members will not sign off on the final report in its current format

Oireachtas banking inquiry chairman Ciaran Lynch. It is understood some members of the inquiry are deeply unhappy with the wording of the final report.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Oireachtas banking inquiry chairman Ciaran Lynch. It is understood some members of the inquiry are deeply unhappy with the wording of the final report. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

Members of the Oireachtas banking inquiry have heavily criticised its final report labelling it “weak” and “incoherent”.

The Dáil committee investigating the banking crash is considering its final report being sending it to interested parties.

However, a number of the 11 TDs are said to be extremely concerned about the contents of the report.

It is understood some members including Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty and Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins have warned they will not sign off on it in its current format.

The Irish Times has also learned two members, Mr Higgins and Independent Senator Sean Barrett, have raised the possibility of issuing a majority report.

This would mean only the majority of members would have to agree to the contents of the report and the rest of the committee could issue their own.

However, it is unlikely this will be allowed to proceed.

One banking inquiry source said: “It is just unacceptable the way it is being presented. It is weak and incoherent.”

It is understood members are frustrated the 750-page report does not adequately address the issues with the banks, the auditors or the commercial property sector.

One member told The Irish Times they were extremely frustrated with the way the report it is written.

The source said: “The investigation team has written the report and you can tell that there is no coherence in the way it is written.

“The members are the ones who have to sign off on the report. It will be our names on it, their names will be nowhere near it.

“We cannot sign off on it the way it is. The members need to sit down and decide what we want the report to say and go from there.”

It is understood a number of the 11 members have tabled a series of amendments, which will be considered late next week.

The majority of the inquiry will have to agree to the changes before they can be accepted.

When agreed, the report will be distributed to anyone referenced and each person will be asked to give their views on its contents. They will have 14 days to respond.

The inquiry is expected to issue its final report on January 20th, 2016 and there is some concern the committee is being rushed to complete the work ahead of the election.

One member said: “The content is all very airy fairy and it is all being rushed out to get it done.

“We all want it to be done but it has to be done right otherwise it has been just a waste of a year.”

The report, which has been split into three modules and runs to 750 pages, contains a number of recommendations.

It is understood there up to 40 recommendations have been made by the committee, including making the advice a Minister for Finance gives to Cabinet accessible by Freedom of Information.

The Irish Times understands the report is highly critical of the Financial Regulator and of the European Central Bank.

The banking inquiry has cost € 4.9 million to date. Of this €642,856 was spent on pay for banking inquiry investigators.