We are all too aware of the relationship between Financial Institutions and Bank Holiday Weekends, (think Cyprus) it is the preferred occasion for making profound adjustments, (usually not in the best interests of their customers, shareholders or the wider general public), the coming weekend, the June Bank Holiday is no different, but it will have a profound effect on our own Bank of Ireland…of that I am in absolutely no doubt!
You see, next Tuesday, June 2nd, when we all wake up to go back to the daily grind after a hopefully, relaxing long weekend, Bank of Ireland will have changed fundamentally, it will be a completely different entity to what is was on Friday previous, May 29th 2015.
A piece of legislation, the “Companies Act 2014″ comes into effect on Monday June 1st, it was signed into law on December 24th 2014 by President Michael D. Higgins , that in itself raises the hair on the back of my neck, any legislation signed as such, at a time when the Country at large is totally pre-occupied with Christmas Eve warrants much closer inspection.
The relevance of this to Bank of Ireland is hidden way in the back of this gargantuan piece of literature, it stretch’s to 1,170 pages, but on page 1,161 and 1,162 the Charter which created the Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland in 1783 is being repealed in full along with every Bank of Ireland Act since.
The list of Bank of Ireland Legislation that is being completely repealed with the enactment of the Companies Act 2014 on June 1st 2015 is as follows, in chronological order:-
Bank of Ireland Act 1781
Charter of the Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland
Bank of Ireland Act 1791
Bank of Ireland Act 1797
Bank of Ireland Act 1808
Bank of Ireland Act 1821
Bank of Ireland Act 1860
Bank of Ireland Charter Amendment Act 1872
Bank of Ireland Act 1929
Bank of Ireland Act 1935
The Charter which gave birth to the Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland in 1783, is the equivalent of the Memorandum and Articles of Association of a modern-day Company.
There is no reference to any other Irish Company specifically, in the new Act, that has been created by Charter.
The full Charter of Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland can be viewed here, from a previous post:-
The full Companies Act 2014 with Schedule 15 can be viewed here:-
So, what is the point of this action, which will take place over the coming bank holiday weekend?
What is clear is that it is a fundamental change, Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland will no longer exist on Tuesday next, is this an event that the Governor Archie Kane, the CEO Richie Boucher and the rest of the Board of the Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland should have informed their Shareholders about in the very recent Annual General Meeting of April 29th just past? I certainly think so….
What else do we know as fact about Bank of Ireland?
Well, as announced at the AGM, the Bank has delisted from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and as such it is out from under the watchful eye of the powerful Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the USA, this was a strange move really, I say this because it not just anyone who gets to list their Company on the NYSE, it is certainly not a cheap endeavour, if I was to hazard a guess I would say it cost the Bank $10 Million to list, however the ongoing cost of maintaining that listing was cited as the main cost issue in arriving at the decision to delist.
We were treated to a strange comment from Richie Boucher recently at the Banking Enquiry when he said,
if any Bank was to “mark to market” (reduce the value of assets to the market value on their balance sheet) N.B it may well find itself in serious difficulties, this was an unusual slip for “the bouncer”, to admit that the Bank is retaining loans on its books at full value, full “tiger era” value when it is clearly the case that this is not the true value, in other words, the Banks Balance Sheet is a total fiction. This comment from one who is consistently on message is hard to accept as a slip and certainly unacceptable as a moment of truth, Bankers don’t do truth! However, Mr Boucher would be very aware that the ratings agencies would be hanging on his every word, and indeed just this week the Bank was downgraded, in a totally sceptical world, one could be excused if one thought that a little share price manipulation might be going on….just saying…. after all, what inevitably is going to happen this weekend would, in ordinary times, probably piss off the shareholders, but if the share price was being suppressed, and was going to improve significantly, sure the shareholders would probably understand the need for secrecy, after all making money is grounds for absolution….isn’t it?
We also have the admission that 50% of Bank of Ireland’s balance sheet is now based in the United Kingdom (UK), is that pointing to anything relevant?
Whatever is happening, the fact is the Irish Government know what it is, unless the Department of Finance really is a stupid as some people believe and the Companies Act 2014 is being used as a tool unknown to legislators and our President who signed it into law (maybe the word tool or should I say the plural, has more relevance than intended) .
Maybe we should look further afield for clues. Next week is a pivotal week for the Euro Project, Friday is the 5th June and D-Day for Greece, all indications are that Herr Merkel will have to blink because Yanis is up against a wall. If Greece slips out the bottom of Europe (try not to visualize that) there will most certainly be contagion and very possibly a collapse in the Euro, so would this have any bearing on Bank of Ireland’s secret dealings this weekend?
Could it be?….No!….that’s too unbelieveable!…..Maybe!…No….No… Well lets throw it out there anyway…..Could Bank of Ireland by emigrating!…Heading off to the safety of Sterling?
It’s not a bad place to be if the Euro is about to implode, sit over in the UK for a while with 50% of your Balance Sheet already in Sterling, until the dust settles, and come back to Ireland like a Phoenix from the Flames as the saviour of the financial system in post euro Ireland…..just saying.
Could that be a plan the Irish Government could rubber-stamp in secret? after all Bank of Ireland is held in very high esteem, though god knows why….
Either way, the Irish Banking landscape is facing a seismic shift this weekend, we shall have to wait and see…its a bit like waiting to go on a long-awaited holiday, but without the happy feelings….
One thing we can be almost certain about is, when a Bank gets up to shenanigans over a Bank Holiday Weekend it’s the people, customers and general public who pay the price!
As I wrap up this article I am receiving calls from friends who say that one of Bank of Ireland’s Accountancy providers “Mazar’s” who act in many cases as Receiver’s, have contacted several borrowers today to inform them that they are stepping down as Receivers and returning control of their property (s) back to the Borrower’s.
I have corroborated these reports with two such Borrower’s, they were contacted directly by Mazar’s who informed the borrowers that the were discharging themselves as Receiver, the borrowers where then contacted by security company G4S who wanted to return the keys of various properties to the respective borrowers, such clear reports from reliable people is the reason I have reported this now, I have had four other reports since which I have not corroborated as yet…..again, this weekend is going to be very interesting, let’s hope for all the right reasons but also let us prepare for the worst.
Source : http://awaken-longford.com/2015/05/27/whats-happening-with-bank-of-ireland-over-the-june-bank-holiday/