Government won't oppose Sinn Féin bill to outlaw lying to Central Bank

The Government will not oppose legislation introduced by the opposition to make it a crime to lie to the Central Bank.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe told his Cabinet colleagues that the Government should not oppose the bill tabled by Sinn Féin.

Last week, Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty introduced legislation to the Oireachtas that would allow financial executives to be jailed for providing false or misleading information to the Central Bank.

Mr Donohoe told a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday that he agreed with the objectives of the bill.

The bill seeks to extend the powers of the Central Bank to conduct investigations into those who provide false or misleading information and to impose sanctions if such information was provided.

The changes are being proposed after the banks were involved in a multimillion-euro overcharging scandal.

More than 30,000 mortgage borrowers were denied their right to lower-cost interest rates by banks.

Some people lost their homes as a result.

Over €300million has been paid in redress.

A spokesman for the Taoiseach said: "The Government supports the intention of the bill and won't be opposing [it] but is also developing more far reaching measures in parallel."

He added: "[Minister Donohoe] agrees in principle with the high level objectives of the bill which seeks to extend the powers of the Central Bank to conduct enquiries into the suspected provision of false and misleading information and to impose sanctions for the provision of such information."

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