|For immediate release|
The Federal Reserve Board announced today its approval of the application of Anglo Irish Bank Corporation plc, Dublin, Ireland, to establish a representative office in Boston, Massachusetts.
Attached is the Board's Order relating to this action.
Anglo Irish Bank Corporation plc
Anglo Irish Bank Corporation plc ("Bank"), Dublin, Ireland, a foreign bank within the meaning of the International Banking Act ("IBA"), has applied under section 10(a) of the IBA (12 U.S.C. § 3107(a)) to establish a representative office in Boston, Massachusetts. The Foreign Bank Supervision Enhancement Act of 1991, which amended the IBA, provides that a foreign bank must obtain the approval of the Board to establish a representative office in the United States.
Notice of the application, affording interested persons an opportunity to submit comments, has been published in a newspaper of general circulation in Boston, Massachusetts (The Boston Globe, March 29, 1999). The time for filing comments has expired, and the Board has considered the application and all comments received.
Bank, with assets of approximately $6.5 billion,1 was incorporated in 1964, and became a publicly traded company in 1971. Bank's two largest shareholders, M&G Investments and Scottish Provident International, both institutional investors, own, respectively, 7.7 and 6.7 percent of Bank's shares. The remaining shares of Bank are widely held, with no single shareholder owning more than 5 percent of the shares.
Bank engages in traditional banking activities, serving personal, institutional, and corporate clients. Bank has five offices in Ireland, three offices in the United Kingdom, and one bank subsidiary in each of the Isle of Man and Austria. Operating through a number of subsidiaries, both foreign and domestic, Bank also offers financing, fund management, and trust services.
The proposed representative office would act as a liaison with existing and potential customers of Bank. It would market Bank's products to small and medium-sized corporations. It also would conduct due diligence, assemble credit information, make property inspections and appraisals, and negotiate terms. All transactions would be approved and booked at Bank's head office.
In acting on an application to establish a representative office, the IBA and Regulation K provide that the Board shall take into account whether the foreign bank engages directly in the business of banking outside the United States and has furnished to the Board the information it needs to assess the application adequately. The Board also shall take into account whether the foreign bank is subject to comprehensive supervision or regulation on a consolidated basis by its home country supervisor (12 U.S.C. § 3107(a)(2); 12 C.F.R. 211.24(d)(2)).2 In addition, the Board may take into account additional standards set forth in the IBA and Regulation K (12 U.S.C. § 3105(d)(3)-(4); 12 C.F.R. 211.24(c)(2)).
As noted above, Bank engages directly in the business of banking outside the United States. Bank also has provided the Board with information necessary to assess the application through submissions that address the relevant issues. With respect to home country authorities, the Board previously has determined, in connection with applications involving other banks in Ireland, that those banks were subject to comprehensive home country supervision on a consolidated basis.3 Bank is supervised by the Central Bank of Ireland on substantially the same terms and conditions as those banks. Based on all the facts of record, the Board has determined that Bank is subject to comprehensive supervision and regulation on a consolidated basis by its home country supervisor.
The Board also has taken into account the additional standards set forth in section 7 of the IBA and Regulation K (see 12 U.S.C. § 3105(d)(3)-(4); 12 C.F.R. 211.24(c)(2)). In this regard, the Central Bank of Ireland has no objection to establishment of the proposed representative office.
With respect to the financial and managerial resources of Bank, taking into consideration Bank's record of operation in its home country, its overall financial resources, and its standing with its home country supervisor, the Board also has determined that financial and managerial factors are consistent with approval of the proposed representative office. Bank appears to have the experience and capacity to support the proposed representative office and has established controls and procedures for the proposed representative office to ensure compliance with U.S. law.
With respect to access to information about Bank's operations, the Board has reviewed the restrictions on disclosure in relevant jurisdictions in which Bank operates and has communicated with certain relevant government authorities regarding access to information. Bank has committed to make available to the Board such information on the operations of Bank and any of its affiliates that the Board deems necessary to determine and enforce compliance with the IBA, the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended, and other applicable federal law. To the extent that the provision of such information may be prohibited by law, Bank has committed to cooperate with the Board to obtain any necessary consents or waivers that might be required from third parties for disclosure of such information. In addition, subject to certain conditions, the Central Bank of Ireland may share information on Bank's operations with other supervisors, including the Board. In light of these commitments and other facts of record, and subject to the conditions described below, the Board concludes that Bank has provided adequate assurances of access to any necessary information the Board may request.
On the basis of all the facts of record, and subject to the commitments made by Bank as well as the terms and conditions set forth in this order, the Board has determined that Bank's application to establish the representative office should be, and hereby is, approved. Should any restrictions on access to information on the operations or activities of Bank subsequently interfere with the Board's ability to obtain information to determine and enforce compliance by Bank or its affiliates with applicable federal statutes, the Board may require termination of any of Bank's or its affiliates' direct or indirect activities in the United States. Approval of this application also is specifically conditioned on compliance by Bank with the commitments made in connection with this application, and with the conditions in this order.4 The commitments and conditions referred to above are conditions imposed in writing by the Board in connection with its decision, and may be enforced in proceedings under 12 U.S.C. § 1818 against Bank and its affiliates.
By order of the Board of Governors,5 effective June 28, 1999.
(signed) Robert deV. Frierson
Robert deV. Frierson
1 Data are as of December 31, 1998.
2 In assessing this standard, the Board considers, among other factors, the extent to which the home country supervisors: (i) ensure that the bank has adequate procedures for monitoring and controlling its activities worldwide; (ii) obtain information on the condition of the bank and its subsidiaries and offices through regular examination reports, audit reports, or otherwise; (iii) obtain information on the dealings with and relationship between the bank and its affiliates, both foreign and domestic; (iv) receive from the bank financial reports that are consolidated on a worldwide basis, or comparable information that permits analysis of the bank's financial condition on a worldwide consolidated basis; (v) evaluate prudential standards, such as capital adequacy and risk asset exposure, on a worldwide basis. These are indicia of comprehensive consolidated supervision. No single factor is essential and other elements may inform the Board's determination.
3 See Allied Irish Banks, plc, 83 Federal Reserve Bulletin 607 (1997); Bank of Ireland, 81 Federal Reserve Bulletin 511 (1995).
4 The Board's authority to approve the establishment of the proposed representative office parallels the continuing authority of the State of Massachusetts to license or otherwise permit the establishment of offices of a foreign bank. The Board's approval of this application does not supplant the authority of the State of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Division of Banks ("Division") to license or otherwise permit the establishment of the proposed office of Bank in accordance with any terms or conditions that the Division may impose.
5 Voting for this action: Chairman Greenspan, Vice Chair Rivlin, and Governors Kelley, Meyer, Ferguson, and Gramlich.
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1999 Orders on banking applications