What’s the difference between Bank of Ireland and AIB?
For one thing, AIB is a lot more accident-prone. There was accidental overcharging that the Financial Regulator might have known about before they said they did. There was that awkward routing of Goodbody’s transactions in AIB shares through the well-known financial centre of Nevis. There was those accidental hundreds of millions dollars lost in their Maryland subsidiary. And now the investigation by the Serious Fraud Office of a property scam affecting their UK operation. Not to mention that they were the preferred banker of Bertie Ahern in his cash-and-carry days, albeit with some missing records that might have shed more light on the Bank of Bertie. And you could keep going back e.g. to the Telecom Eireann site scandal. They even manage to be Senator Chris Dodd’s friendly mortgage holder on his increasingly controversial Connemara cottage. Against all that, Bank of Ireland is fairly good at staying out of the news, one recent exception being participation in some AIG tax deals. But nothing that makes BofI’s management look as serially inattentive as AIB’s. Could this by why B of I already has EU approval of its government capital injection, and AIB doesn’t?