SIPTU President, Jack O'Connor, has called on the Government to make good on its commitment in the Programme for Government for the creation of a State Investment Bank using the ACC branch network. “The creation of the strategic investment fund by the Government is welcome but this can only be seen as a first step to creating the financial infrastructure necessary to support Irish industry. “The decision by Rabobank to hand back the ACC banking licence provides a real opportunity to marry the strategic investment fund with the ACC banking network in order to establish a badly needed State Investment Bank. “The sad reality of banking in Ireland is that it has a pathetic record of lending and investing to productive enterprises. It was more interested in gambling and speculating in property during the boom years and it has not proven itself any more capable of supporting productive business in the post-boom period,” O’Connor said. He continued: “ACC and ICC had proven track records of supporting Irish agriculture and industry over several decades. The decision by Fianna Fáil to privatise these banks in 2003 was disastrous. Our recovery is intrinsically linked to our ability to increase economic sovereignty. We need as a country to begin taking back control of our economy. A huge step forward in this direction would be the creation of a State Investment Bank focused entirely on supporting domestic enterprise.” SIPTU Sector Organiser, Adrian Kane, said that SIPTU members in ACC need not be cast out on the dole. “They can be productively employed in a new State Investment Bank. The Insurance and Finance Sector of SIPTU has sought an urgent meeting with the Department of Finance in order to explore how the ACC branch infrastructure could be utilised for the creation of such a bank. Our members need not be cast out on dole when there is important work for which their experience and skills are required,” he said.