Every day is Friday 13th for Dublin finance hub

Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:12am EST
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By Andras Gergely and Carmel Crimmins

DUBLIN (Reuters) - On the trading floors and in the back offices of Dublin's financial center it feels like every day is Friday the 13th.

A series of scandals within the banking sector continue to rumble, creating an impression overseas that Ireland has a fast and loose corporate culture too risky to invest in.

"It's just ridiculous," said one dealer. "How do we get the trust back?"

Question marks over whether Anglo Irish Bank, a former poster boy for Ireland's boom years, had used deposits from bancassurer Irish Life & Permanent to beef up its books had people shaking their heads across Dublin's International Financial Services Center, an important hub for Europe's fund industry.

The practice of placing short-term deposits is known in business as a "bed and breakfast" transaction.

"I'd be selling every Irish banking share if I owned them. These scandals make us all look like crooks," said another Dublin dealer.

"Who knows what else is in store? "Basically, forget about financials. They are a basket case."

SICKENING   Continued...

<p>A business man avoids puddles at the International Financial Services Centre - the business district of Dublin May 27, 2007. Picture was rotated 180 degrees. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor</p>