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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
Charlie Weston Twitter Email

Award for AIB’s Colin Hunt a week after bank’s record €97m tracker mortgage fine

AIB chief executive Colin Hunt is due to be presented with the 2022 Global Business Leadership award. Photo: Gerry Mooney

The chief executive of AIB, Dr Colin Hunt, is to receive an award for business leadership at a black-tie dinner just a week after his bank was hit with a record €97 million fine for its role in the tracker mortgage scandal.

The scandal saw some customers lose their homes and others overcharged for years.

The bank executive has been called on not to accept the award from an Irish-US business organisation after the fine and reprimand from the Central Bank.

Dr Hunt was forced to issue a grovelling apology last week over the Central Bank fine and admitted the bank’s treatment of its tracker customers was a “stain on its reputation”.

He is due to be presented with the 2022 Global Business Leadership award by the Ireland-US Council, a not-for-profit organisation set up in 1963 to promote business links between the two countries.

The €300-a-head black-tie gala dinner is being held in Dublin Castle on Friday, when former Tánaiste Mary Harney will also be honoured.

Last week the Central Bank fined AIB and its subsidiary EBS a combined €96.7m for mistreating tracker mortgage customers.

It said the bank’s failings had caused unacceptable harm and loss to affected customers over nearly 18 years.

The regulator said tracker mortgage regulatory breaches occurred up to March this year.

The Central Bank accused AIB of putting its interests ahead of those of customers.

Chairman of the Consumers’ Association of Ireland, Michael Kilcoyne, urged Dr Hunt not to accept the award in light of the fine.

He said 21 families had lost their homes due to the actions of AIB and its subsidiary EBS.

“He should not accept this award,” Mr Kilcoyne said. “The saddest thing is that families lost their homes due to the actions of his bank.”

A spokesman for Dr Hunt declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has announced plans to sell around 5pc of AIB by way of a so-called placing to institutional investors – effectively inviting buyers to bid for a share of the available stock.

It will cut the State’s shareholding in the bank to approximately 63.5pc from 68.5pc.

The bank has a market capitalisation of €6.5bn, valuing the stake to be sold at around €325m depending on the price achieved on the day.

The cash will claw back some of the €20.8bn cost of bailing out the bank a decade ago, about half of which has been recouped to date.

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