Belfast Telegraph

34m euro paid out on bailout advice

Consultants were handed 34 million euro to advise the Government and State agencies on the banking bailouts, it has been revealed.

But despite the hugely lucrative contracts, there are no detailed receipts of work provided by top legal and accounting firms as well as some of the biggest names in global finance.

Officials told the State's public spending watchdog that the consultants were not asked to vouch for their costs because of the urgency of the crisis.

A report by Comptroller and Auditor General John Buckley shows the Department of Finance alone paid Arthur Cox Solicitors 9.7 million euro up to July this year for advice on the banking fiasco.

The law firm got another 1.95 million euro in consultancy fees to help out the National Pension Reserve Fund Commission (NPRFC).

Investment bankers Merrill Lynch made 7.3 million euro in one of the fixed fee arrangements with the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), which is responsible for managing the national debt.

The NTMA also paid international financial advisers Rothschild 4.5 million euro for help.

Accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers made around 6.6 million euro for giving advice to the Central Bank, the Department of Finance and the NPRFC.

Other major consultancy firms to benefit were KPMG (2 million euro), Jones Lang LaSalle (840,000 euro), Deloittes (420,000 euro) and Ernst and Young (240,000 euro) - all for advising the Central Bank on the banking guarantee scheme.

Sir Andrew Large, a former deputy governor of the Bank of England, was paid 120,000 euro to be a "trusted adviser" to the NPRFC.

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