* US firm took 3.2 mln eur in unjustified fees
* State Street reported to watchdog in UK
* Ireland been repaid says finmin
DUBLIN, Nov 22 Ireland's national debt agency
has accused U.S. financial services firm State Street Corp
of fraud for overcharging the country's pension fund
during a transaction last year.
State Street has admitted overcharging the debt agency
by 3.2 million euros ($4.1 million) after it was hired to manage
the sale of 4.7 billion euros of assets to fund the
recapitalisation of Ireland's banks.
The error was reported by Ireland's Comptroller and Auditor
General last month.
The head of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA)
John Corrigan told a parliamentary committee on Thursday that
the mistake was fraudulent. He said he had reported the matter
to the Irish police and had told the UK regulator, the Financial
Services Authority (FSA).
"What happened here was fraudulent in nature and it's
totally unacceptable," he said. "We have communicated this view
... very clearly and in unequivocal terms to State Street."
State Street said in a statement that "certain employees
failed to comply with the high standards of conduct,
communication and transparency that we expect," adding that
those individuals no longer worked for the firm.
Corrigan said he had met with the vice president of State
Street to discuss the issue.
"Fraudulently, in my view, within State Street there was 0.7
percent chipped off the sale price that they got when they went
out onto the open market," during the sale of the assets,
Ireland's finance minister Michael Noonan said he had every
confidence in the NTMA and that Corrigan was right to reveal to
the public that something untoward had happened.
"I understand that everything which was misappropriated has
been repaid so there is no loss to the state," Noonan said.