Noonan: Siteserv inquiry will not look at AIB

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has ruled out widening the terms of reference in the SiteServ inquiry to include transactions at AIB.

In an interview with the Sunday Business Post, the former boss of IBRC Mike Aynsley suggested they were not the only institution cutting deals with big borrowers.

He called for the Siteserv review to be widened.

However Minister Noonan said that they will focus their investigation on issues of concern.

"Well, we have seen situations before where it was in the interests of people to widen the terms of reference so that the review would go on indefinitely," he said.

"We had the Moriarty Tribunal and other tribunals gone on for 12 or 14 years.

"The issues of concern here arise from IBRC [and] Anglo Irish Bank and that's what's going to be addressed in the review."

The Minister said that KPMG have access to Siteserv's shareholder list.

He said: "I understand they have access to it anyway, because they have all the documents they inherited from the IRBC when they took over.

"That's why I'm appointing them to do the first review, because first of all, they have all the data in their possession; secondly, they understand how liquidation works; thirdly, they are forensic accountants, so they understand how the accountancy system works and they have expertise in company law."

Mr Noonan said that the terms of reference will also deal with possible conflicts of interest.

He said: "As I said when we indicated the terms of reference, that there will be a provision in the terms of reference when we announce them -- probably later this evening -- to deal with any possible conflicts of interest, so that there'll be a system in place.

"So if there's any conflict of interest, KPMG will have to be at arms length and other professionals will have to be brought in to deal with that piece of the review."

He said he was not concerned about a possible conflict of interest already, given that KPMG were involved in negotiating the deal in the the first place.

He said: "No, I'm not worried, you see, if you look at SiteServ,, KPMG had an involvement, Arthur Cox -- one of the biggest legal firms in Dublin -- were the legal advisors to both sides, with different groups within the company advising different sides.

"Davys (Stockbrokers) were advisors as well; PWC were advisors to another group.

"I want a review of over 30 transactions. Without checking it at all, I know that every serious company in Dublin -- whether it's accountancy or whether it's legal -- will run into conflicts of interest on this.

"So what I need is somebody independent in there working with the liquidators to adjudicate, on where there is a conflict of interest, so that nobody is reviewing their own case."


 

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