Aontú Leader and Oireachtas Finance Committee member Peadar Tóibín TD has requested that the Finance Committee call on the Minister for Finance and Department Officials to appear before the Oireachtas Finance Committee at the earliest possible opportunity. This should be done in order “to start the process of replacing Ulster Bank with a viable competitive banking organisation”. An Teachta Tóibín stated;

“Ireland is replete with dysfunctional markets. Housing, Beef, Insurance and Banking are just 4 examples of markets that do not work competitively. This is not an accident indeed the Two Pillar Banking system is a creation of Fine Gael and Michael Noonan. This limited market was designed to add value to the banks but it had the effect of radically limiting competition within the market. The lack of competition in the banking market has been an absolute disaster for home owners, small to medium businesses and regional Ireland. That lack of competition is about to get a whole lot worse if the market is allowed to contract any further”.

“I welcome that Ulster Bank and the FSU is to come before the Finance Oireachtas Committee next week but I have also requested that the Minister and the Department of Finance be invited to come before the Committee to start the process of building a new more competitive banking system. In typical Fine Gael fashion the Minister for Finance has behaved like a spectator as this crisis unfolds before our eyes. It does not have to be this way. We need a 3rd banking force, a public stakeholder bank. A commitment to such as bank appeared in most parties manifestos including the Green Party just over a year ago. Public Stakeholder Banks are successful all over Europe. There is significant expertise in relation to the developing of Public Stakeholder Banking. We in Aontú have drawn up detail plans on how this could work”.

“The Government must not rely on its laissez faire instincts and sit on their hands. The functioning of society in aspects of life is dependent on a strong competitive banking sector. Now is the time to build that system”.