Disastrous Lack of Competition in Banking is Hammering Customers - Tóibín
Speaking at the Finance Committee today Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibín TD addressed the Chief Executive of Bank of Ireland Francesca McDonagh and said;
You stated at the Committee today that “we stand alone as the only majority privately owned Irish retail bank”. This sentence highlights the elephant in the continuing disaster that is the Irish Banking Market. Mario Dragi stated that the Irish Banking market is a “quasi-monopoly”. The truth is Bank of Ireland can operate in this manner because of the dysfunctional market structure. Bank of Ireland can do what it wants as there is so little competition.
From September 2021, the number of Bank of Ireland branches will reduce by 88 from 257to 169. This is savage cut and it will have a savage effect on much of Ireland. In truth Bank of Ireland have been pushing customers out of banks for the last number of years, making it more difficult for customers to do in branch business.
You mention negative interest rates, capital requirements and higher risk in Ireland. What proportion of the differential between your interest rates and the EU interest rates do these factors make up. What proportion of the differential is made up by the lack of competition in the market in Ireland.
You mention that you have paid the State back. This is commendable and the Bank deserves great credit for this. However how much corporation tax has been forgone by the state on profits that Bank of Ireland has made in the last 10 years. Given all this forgone tax does the Bank not have a responsibility to the people to provide a comprehensive physical service?