Workers’ Party Dublin North West representative Gavin Mendel-Gleason has described as deeply worrying the fact that the government is receiving advice from investments banks such as Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank on the possible sale of AIB

Mendel-Gleason said:

“It is shocking to think that Merrill Lynch could have any involvement in providing advice to the government on such an important issue as this, given their record. Merrill Lynch were engaged by the government in 2008 to evaluate the potential cost of bailing the country’s banks out. They underestimated the cost by approximately €48 billion and were paid handsomely for their appalling advice. Apart from any other concerns, incompetence on such a scale should rule them out from providing the government with advice on banking.”

Mendel-Gleason continued:

“The list of banks advising the government reads like a rogue’s gallery of those involved in financial incompetence and mismanagement over the last ten years. Goldman Sachs helped the Greek government to mask its debt levels and then managed to profit from Greece’s debt crisis. Citigroup agreed a $7bn settlement in 2014 to resolve claims that it misled investors about the quality of mortgage-backed bonds sold before the 2008 financial crisis. In addition there is speculation that Deutsche Bank, also advising the government, is in serious financial trouble currently. These institutions simply cannot be trusted.”

Mendel-Gleason concluded by calling on the government not to sell AIB, saying:

“Bailing out AIB cost the citizens of this country a huge amount of money. Instead of acting on the advice of huge investment banks whose modus operandi is financial speculation and profit-making above all else, we should be thinking about how we can use AIB to serve the needs of ordinary people in Ireland through investment in public housing and jobs. This would finally give some return to those of us unfairly burdened by the bailout debts.”