Goodbody stockbrokers switched large chunks of clients’ funds out of Bank of Ireland stocks into AIB during the stockmarket turmoil in November 2008, The Sunday Independent reports.
The potential significance of this is that Goodbody is wholly owned by AIB. The company denies the move was an attempt to bolster the value of shares in its beleaguered parent.
Most shareholders are happy to give their broker discretion to manage their portfolios without consulting them about every trade – after all, this is what people actually pay a stockbroker to do! Many discretionary funds are private pension schemes and billions of euro are tied up in these.
Goodbody is adamant the decision to shift the funds was “based on our views at the time as to the values and future performance”.
In a comment piece, Sunday Independent business editor Shane Ross counsels that “Goodbody’s words of wisdom about AIB should come with a health warning”.
“Brass neck goes a long way in the cut-throat world of the stock market,” Ross says. “And Goodbody has brass neck – in spades.”