An investigation into activities at National Irish Bank finds widespread corrupt practices and the encouragement of tax evasion.

The report into activities at NIB confirms that there was widespread unlawful and improper practices at the bank and is critical of the lack of cooperation during the investigation. 

For a decade up to 1998, bogus non-resident and fictitious accounts were opened and staff encouraged customers to evade tax.

Even when the practice stopped, the bank held onto the money by selling investment schemes which could be hidden from the tax man. Overcharging was also rife at a number of branches. 

Director of Corporate Enforcement Paul Appleby said that the structure of accountability at the bank was inadequate and allowed the misconduct to continue. 

No one shouted stop during that period.

Nineteen senior executives including the former chief executive Jim Lacey and the former TD Beverly Flynn have been named and shamed in the report and face the prospect of civil action.  

Paul Appleby is liaising with the Director of Public Prosecutions about the possibility of criminal prosecution against the bank under the Companies Act. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 30 July 2004. The reporter is Vivienne Traynor.