Bosses linked to the tracker mortgage scandal should be held to account, a top banker said yesterday.
The Central Bank’s deputy governor Ed Sibley said he wants those to be held responsible for what has been described as "a huge fraud against up to 20,000 customers."
He added his officials were planning enforcement investigations against all of the country’s main financial institutions.
Speaking in Dublin on Tuesday, Mr Sibley said:
“I expect the boards, the individuals on the boards and the executives to be accountable not only the initial decisions which started the consumer detriment, but the persistent and ongoing behaviours and decisions that magnified this harm over an extended period.”
The main banks now face the threat of massive penalties as well as paying out what could amount to close to €1 billion in compensation and repayments.
Mr Sibley blasted their behaviour which has brought misery to tens of thousands of families, some who have lost their homes as a result of the scandal.
Mr Sibley said lenders often looked at that they could get away with – not customer welfare or the long-term interests of their businesses.
He added: “Short-termism was incentivised. Effective internal challenge of the prevailing views was not.
“Decisions were made in the short-term interest of the shareholder [or at least management’s interpretation of it], and whether decisions were legal, with too little consideration of whether they were ethical or in the interests of the customer.
“This behaviour has been destructive for long-term shareholder value, as well as customers and financial stability.
“Unfortunately, as the tracker mortgage scandal demonstrated, this ‘is it legal?’ attitude still pervades in too many institutions.
“On this specific point, we are under no illusion that continued and concerted pressure is required to ensure all affected customers receive redress and compensation and banks comply with our findings.
“I expect all the main banks will be subject to Central Bank investigations.
“Interviews with individuals have been and will be conducted, and large volumes of documentation have been and will continue to be gathered and reviewed.”