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Debt write-offs

AIB execs agree to face TDs next week to answer questions about controversial debt write-downs

The bank will attend a public meeting on Thursday, 2 March.

AIB HAS AGREED to appear before the Oireachtas Finance Committee to answer questions about the write-down of debt from some of its borrowers. 

The committee is set to question the bankers on AIB’s policy on debt write-downs and the rational and regularity of such decisions.

In addition, the committee has requested a note from AIB to detail:

  • The number of borrowers/ debtors, outside of bankruptcy and insolvency arrangements, who have received a reduction in over 90% of their loan.
  • The formula/ methodology that AIB use in considering debt write-downs. 

The bank will attend a public meeting on Thursday, 2 March.

The questions have arisen after it was revealed that a debt of €9.5 million owed by former Kilkenny hurler DJ Carey was reportedly written down to €60,000 in 2017. 

RTÉ’s Prime Time reported that Carey had received a 99.37% reduction of his debt and that he settled the debt with the State-owned bank in 2017. The agreement also allowed AIB to sell properties held as securities for the loans, which raised €1.52 million for the bank.

Junior enterprise minister Neale Richmond said that the details of the settlement were “extremely worrying”.

Aontú’s Peadar Tóibín said that he was concerned by AIB’s writedown of Carey’s debt and questioned how many similar deals had taken place in recent years.

“It’s very hard to understand why certain people can get almost 100% writedowns,” Tóibín told The Journal this afternoon.

“I want to know how many of these writedowns have taken place in the last ten years.”

Catherine Murphy of the Social Democrats has said that AIB need to detail its methodology for write downs on debt.

“We’re certainly having contact from people who feel very aggrieved that they were put through the ringer for a relatively small amount of money,” Murphy said, compared to write downs on larger sums of money.