Business

Bank of Ireland approaches crisis-stricken Davy

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Bank of Ireland has made an exploratory approach to Davy about the possibility of doing a deal, should the crisis-stricken stockbroking firm seek to find a buyer as it grapples with the fallout of a Central Bank fine and rebuke over market-rules breaches.

Sources say that approach was at a high level and has been viewed as laying down an early marker at a time when Davy’s interim chief executive, Bernard Byrne, who was appointed on Saturday following a number of senior exits, tries to stabilise the business.

Spokesmen for Bank of Ireland and Davy, which was estimated to be valued at about €400 million before the crisis, declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Central Bank director general of financial conduct Derville Rowland told the Oireachtas finance committee on Tuesday that the regulator’s long investigation into a 2014 bond deal at the heart of the Davy scandal “caused a day of reckoning” for the State’s largest stockbroking firm in respect of its governance, conduct and culture.

‘Careful investigation’

However, she said Central Bank officials found no signs of suspected criminal activity during their investigation that would have obliged them, by law, to make reports to An Garda Síochána or the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement.

“I can confirm that in the course of this very meticulous and careful investigation we did not form suspicion to support reports to other agencies,” said Ms Roland. But she added that she will still engage with the other authorities now that the Central Bank investigation is complete.

Read more at www.irishtimes.com

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