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Dublin: 10 °C Monday 21 April, 2014

Opposition calls on Noonan to clarify Finance Department’s involvement with banks

Fianna Fáil has asked the Minister to make a statement on today’s reports about the current Secretary General John Moran.

John Moran, Secretary General of the Department of Finance.
John Moran, Secretary General of the Department of Finance.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

“IS THERE A special channel in the Department of Finance for certain individuals to have their grievances with the State-owned banks dealt with?”

That is a question posed by Fianna Fáil to the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan following reports in today’s Sunday Times and Sunday Independent newspapers about the current Secretary General.

Áine Coffey in the Sunday Times reports that lawyers for businessman Paddy McKillen have written to the finance minister stating that John Moran and another senior official displayed “inappropriate informality and familiarity” in an email exchange with Richard Faber who works for David and Frederick Barclay.

The correspondence reportedly pertained to the brothers’ wish to buy McKillen’s personal loans from IBRC.

Fianna Fáil spokesperson Michael McGrath has voiced his concerns about the claims.

“The Minister for Finance has repeatedly said that the bailed-out banks are responsible for making commercial decisions on an independent basis and are not subject to any influence from government. Indeed, the division of responsibilities between the government and the banks is clearly laid out in a series of relationship framework.”

He said he found it “difficult to understand” why Moran, as head of the department’s banking unit in 2011, would engage with a third party about the “confidential banking affairs of a customer of a State-owned bank”.

McGrath called on Noonan to make a statement on the information that was printed in today’s newspapers.

“He should also clarify the nature of the assistance that Mr Moran was offering to the Barclay brothers in relation to their efforts to acquire Mr McKillen’s loans from IBRC.”

The Department told the Sunday Times that it encourages any investor interest in assets at any of the covered institutions.

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