Róisín Shortall TD, co-leader of the Social Democrats, has welcomed the resignation of the three senior executives from Davy today, describing it as a “starting point”. However, she has pointed out that a number of unanswered questions remain.

CommentingDeputy Shortall said:

“The resignations of three senior executives from Davy today are welcome as a starting point. However, there has been a catastrophic failure of the internal checks within this financial institution, including their compliance department and auditors.

“While the Central Bank, as regulator, did identify the problem and took action, this was five years after the issue came to light.

“It then required pressure from some Opposition politicians, Davy staff and clients, and the media to ensure that the unsustainable decision of allowing these individuals to remain in their roles was corrected.

“There remain a number of unanswered questions relating to this issue, which I set out yesterday in a letter to the Governor of the Central Bank.”

In her letter to Gabriel Makhlouf, Deputy Shortall outlined 10 key questions she believes need to be answered:

1. What happened to the money that was made from the transaction involved?

2. Is it the intention to publicly name all 16 of the individuals concerned?

3. What, in your view, is the appropriate action now for the NTMA to take, considering that Davy is the only Irish-owned primary dealer of Irish bonds and in light of their appalling behaviour and breach of trust?

4. Can you confirm that any individual who currently holds a pre-approved controlled functions (PCF) role within Davy continues to meet the Central Bank’s standards for fitness and probity?

5. Can you explain why, when these events came to light in 2016, it took until 2021 for the Central Bank to impose sanctions?

6. There have been reports in the media that the original message from the CEO of Davy to staff subsequently had to be changed as it may have been in conflict with an agreement reached between Davy and the Central Bank. Will you publish in full any such agreement?

7. I would like to understand the relative severity of the fine. In that context, could you provide me with the total income of Davy in its last audited accounts and, if available, the total profit made by the individuals involved following the sale of their bonds?

8. Has the Central Bank raised any issues with the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement in light of what happened? Specifically, is the Central Bank of the view that all individuals who have served as Directors and/or Secretaries of Davy since 2014 have complied with their responsibilities under the Companies Act?

9. Did the activity that these 16 people at Davy engaged in constitute criminal activity in 2014, and does that activity currently constitute criminal activity?

10. Davy effectively runs the Irish Stock Exchange. What is the Central Bank’s view of whether it is appropriate for this arrangement to continue? 

Deputy Shortall concluded:

“It’s one thing to impose a fine, but we must also ensure that the people involved are held accountable. The public need assurances that the Central Bank is doing everything within its power here, and crucially, will put in place robust measures to ensure that we don’t see a repeat of what happened here in the future.”

March 6, 2021

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