Mon, 23 Aug, 2021 – 21:15
A former employee of the Bank of Ireland is alleging a major fraud was perpetrated by the bank on a public body.
The allegation is being made by the former head of the bank’s Bureau de Change in Dublin Airport, Orla McNulty.
She alleges a dual accounting system was in place at the bureau in order to defraud Aer Rianta of a rental fee payable according to turnover.
The bank had an agreement to pay the airport authority a percentage of its turnover but the dual system put in place, she alleges, meant the turnover declared to Aer Rianta was much smaller than the actual turnover.
Ms McNulty claims currency transactions above the value of €2,000 were accounted for separately and not declared to the airport authority.
Documents central to the allegation were destroyed by bank officials after the initiation of a legal action which includes details of the alleged fraud.
The bank has claimed this was not done deliberately but was a routine action that was undertaken before those documents were specifically identified in court.
The Court of Appeal, in a ruling issued last June, has criticised the bank for the destruction of the documents.
The judge has ordered the bank to provide an affadavit outlining what measures were taken to ensure any documents that could be relevant were preserved.
Ms McNulty claims this system was in operation for around a decade up until 2008. In April 2008, a new manager was appointed and when Ms McNulty informed her of the system the new manager became “alarmed and troubled” at what was going on.
“She asked who authorised it, when did it commence, the reasons, circumstances and basis for its existence. She stated that this was all highly irregular,” according to a court document filed by Ms Nulty.
Ms McNulty alleges that as a result she was “scapegoated” by the bank and told she had to accept a transfer to another branch where she would be employed as a teller.
She is suing the bank for breach of contract, bullying and intimidation. The bank has denied the allegations.
Asked if any investigation was conducted on foot of the allegation, the Bank of Ireland said it would be inappropriate to comment as the matter was before the courts.