Tuesday, 17 April 2018
Department of Finance
262. To ask the Minister for Finance the expenditure on public relations firms or media consultants for each of the State backed banks in each of the past five years, by firms, advisers and consultants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16117/18]
This information is not held by my Department but officials in the Department of Finance have received the following responses from the banks in relation to the Deputy's question:
“In line with normal practice and for commercially sensitive reasons, AIB does not publicly disclose the details of contracts with individual external service providers. The bank manages its public relations consultancy fees within its commercial business requirements and operating costs.”
“Except where required by law or regulation, and in line with how it manages its relationships with its other third-party service providers, the bank does not disclose the identity of firms or consultants engaged to work with the bank or the terms of such work as this information is deemed commercially sensitive.”
263. To ask the Minister for Finance the number of meetings held by the Central Bank and by each State backed bank with the ECB or a branch of the ECB such as the Single Supervisory Mechanism in the past 24 months at which the issue of non-performing loans was discussed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16118/18]
As the Deputy is aware non-performing loans (NPLs) remain at an elevated level across the European banking system and addressing this issue is one of the key priorities for the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM). The reduction of NPLs is also being given high priority at EU level with the Commission announcing their "Action Plan to Tackle Non-Performing Loans in Europe" in July 2017. The action plan calls upon various institutions including the Commission to take appropriate measures to further address the challenges of high NPL ratios in Europe. In this regard there is ongoing interaction between the State backed banks and their regulator.
For clarity the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) forms part of the Euro-system and SSM and delivers on its regulatory mandate and obligations with respect to significant institutions through the operation of Joint Supervisory Teams comprised of staff from both the CBI and ECB.
AIB have provided me with the following response:
"The Joint Supervisory Team (JST) in its role as prudential regulator under the Single Supervisory Mechanism, conducts a number of regular meetings with the AIB senior management team
and executives across the calendar year. These meetings discuss a range of topics including non-performing loans (NPLs)."
PTSB have provided me with the following response:
" Banks supervised by the SSM or CBI have regular engagement and interaction on multiple levels as part of their ongoing regulatory oversight. There are a number of contacts at various levels over each month, in person, by phone and in correspondence.This would cover the full range of activities within each supervised bank including NPLs. The information requested is not tracked at the level requested; however the bank can confirm that the issue of NPLs is discussed very regularly between the bank and its supervisor."
264. To ask the Minister for Finance if a bank (details supplied) received legal advice or technical assistance in the development of its split mortgage product; if so, the details of the advisers and fees paid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16119/18]
Officials in the Department of Finance referred the Deputy’s question to PTSB and received the following response in this regard:
“Permanent TSB has a requirement for legal/technical support and advice on an on-going basis across different parts of its business. It manages some of this requirement through its in-house capabilities, as well as engaging external legal and technical advice where necessary. Except where required by law or regulation, and in line with how it manages its relationships with its other third-party advisors, the bank does not disclose the identity of such firms or individuals engaged to work with the bank on specific issues or the terms of such work as this information is deemed commercially sensitive.”
265. To ask the Minister for Finance if a bank (details supplied) received legal advice or technical assistance in the development of its split mortgage product; if so, the details of the advisers and fees paid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16120/18]
I have received the following response from AIB.
"The Split Mortgage solution was built in response to the Keane report by all banks across the industry in 2012. It was delivered by the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Strategy (MARS) Programme with regular engagement between AIB and the CBI on the split mortgage design and delivery.
The MARS programme engaged the direct support of both PwC and Accenture in the delivery of AIB’s advanced forbearance solutions and associated operational processes. Internal legal and compliance stakeholders were a key aspect of the overall programme and split solution delivery.
For commercial confidentiality reasons AIB does not publicly disclose the details of contracts with individual external service providers. The bank manages these fees within its commercial business requirements and operating costs."