Ireland has tolerated a culture of poor standards and weak regulation in its financial services sector. It took sensational revelations at the tribunals and ground-breaking investigative journalism to uncover some of the scandals. Others remained a secret, known only to informed insiders. A tradition of silence and evasion prevailed. Driven by an insatiable hunger for profits, some bankers had taken huge risks. But whistleblowers were unwilling to remain silent, and they revealed the murky details, exposing sinister banking practices. Simon Carswell opens with one of the most colourful rogues in the history of Irish banking, Ken Bates - the same Ken Bates who sold Chelsea FC to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.Back in the mid-1970s he was the owner of the Irish Trust Bank which went bust owing IR Punt4 million, leaving more than 1,200 depositors with the loss of their savings.
"Something Rotten" also charts the collapse of Patrick Gallagher's Merchant Banking and the state's bail-out of AIB's Insurance Corporation of Ireland in the mid-1980s; the ousting of Edmund Farrell as managing director of the Irish Permanent Building Society, as well as scandals involving the country's major banks - not to mention DIRT, Ansbacher, AIB's rogue trader in the US and the recent overcharging revelations that have tarnished the reputation of the Irish banking sector. All the scams were either encouraged or tolerated by a banking system that was seriously compromised. "Something Rotten" takes a hard look at that culture and at the controversies it generated.