The roots of yet another scandal

The roots of yet another scandal
Archie Kane, chairman; Francesca McDonagh, chief executive; and Pat Farrell, director of corporate affairs, all of Bank of Ireland, after their meeting with Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue last week Pic: PA

Let’s face up to the truth about banking: however generously paid, it is a dreadful business to be in these days. That’s where the trouble starts

Once upon a time, the two main Irish banks were among the most profitable in Europe.

They faced little competition, were almost a duopoly, sprung few surprises and their shares were placed by investors and their stockbrokers in the “Granny shares” category – to be passed down through the generations .

But since the mid 1980s, the dynamics and pressures on bank chief executives and their management teams have proved relentless –with aggressive fund managers and institutional...

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