The Dail Public Accounts Committee has heard that in 1994 an internal memo drawn up at the National Irish Bank suggested that the bank should consider moving major non-resident deposits to offshore accounts. The former chairman of the bank, Alex Spain, told the committee that there was a simple explanation for the memo, which would be provided by other witnesses from NIB. The Committee Chairman, Jim Mitchell, has described the wording of the document as "troubling".
It has also emerged that the previous year senior managers warned staff that the bank could be inspected by the Revenue Commissioners, particularly in relation to the non-resident accounts. An internal document said that non-resident accounts had risen by £30 million in a 12 month period and that this was difficult to explain. Some accounts had no correspondence addresses while others had addresses such as "Main Street, Swansea, Wales" and needed further scrutiny.
Committee chairman Jim Mitchell announced today that because the committee operates on a non-party basis, it has been decided that its legal team should question the five former finance ministers who will come before the committee at the end of this month. John Bruton, Ray Mc Sharry, Albert Reynolds, Bertie Ahern, and Ruairi Quinn will all appear before the committee, which is enquiring into allegations DIRT tax evasion. The politicians are expected to be questioned about any political influence on decisions taken by the revenue commissioners in their administration of DIRT tax.