In July a statutory instrument (S.I. No. 358/2010) was signed by Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, bringing a company called Bank of Ireland (UK) plc under the Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Act 2008, otherwise known as the bank gurantee scheme. This is curious on a number of levels, and could be entirely innocent, but is nonetheless worth looking a little into.
Bank of Ireland (UK) plc was incorporated on September 17, 2009. Richie Boucher was appointed a director in March 2010, and it appears to have commenced business on April 1. Its most recent director appointment was on July 14, 2010, when Laurel Powers Freeling, the former chief executive of Marks and Spencers, was appointed.
Five days after the appointment of Freeling and a Robert Walker, Brian Lenihan signed the SI that brought Bank of Ireland (UK) plc under the guarantee. A number of questions arise, which I believe are fair to ask, given the level of support given by the State to Bank of Ireland.
What is the purpose of Bank of Ireland (UK) plc?
Why is Bank of Ireland establishing a new UK company at a time when it is supposed to be increasing lending in Ireland?
What is the renumeration of the directors of Bank of Ireland (UK) plc?
As I said, the purpose of establishing the company might be entirely run of the mill – I’m just posing the question.