Bank of Ireland's insurer is likely to refuse to refund the record €7.6m stolen during the 'tiger' raid 10 days ago because the bank admitted it breached agreed protocols, the Sunday Tribune has learned.
Senior garda and banking sources say they expect the bank's insurer will attempt to use the fact that gardaí were not alerted to the robbery until after it occurred to declare the policy null and void. This would mean the bank would have to absorb the loss.
All banks have signed up to agreed security protocols which dictate that any employee who is kidnapped must inform gardaí immediately after they are first separated from the people holding them.
Bank of Ireland employee Shane Travers was forced to go to the Dublin Processing Centre in College Green on 27 February and fill four laundry bags with cash.
He did not call gardaí after arriving at the branch because his girlfriend and her family were being held by the raiders and had been threatened. A number of Travers' colleagues were advised of the situation but they did not phone gardaí either.
Officers only became aware of the situation 12 minutes after Travers left the branch when they received a call from the bank. The 24 year-old walked into Clontarf garda station approximately two minutes later and told them what had occurred.
The delay severely hampered the garda operation into the north-inner city gang responsible for the kidnap.
Justice minister Dermot Ahern has gone on the record with his dissatisfaction that established protocols were not followed. "I would be less than frank if I didn't say that there are issues of concern in relation to how this happened and how this was allowed to happen," he said.
A senior official in Bank of Ireland said it anticipates a fight with its insurance company.
"The fact that the standard protocols were obviously breached means we will face a major battle to get the cash back. At the very least, the insurance company will try to argue they should not pay the full amount due under the terms of the policy."
Senior investigating gardaí say there is no doubt that the insurer, believed to be a British institution, will try to avoid honouring the policy.