KBC Bank Ireland plc (KBC) were removed from the UCD Orientation Tent this week following a request made by Allied Irish Bank (AIB). The move comes following controversy that KBC was allowed to sign a contract with the UCDSU guaranteeing a place for promotional material in the Orientation Tent, despite the fact AIB holds exclusivity rights on the campus.
Speaking following the incident which on Tuesday morning, Feargal Hynes, President of UCDSU explained that “regulations around the contract change the whole time” and that it was “fairly regular” for the Students’ Union to engage with other banks. Hynes referenced the period when Bank of Ireland sponsored the Orientation Tent as one example.
Hynes said that what happened earlier this week between the two banks, was a “complete breakdown in communications” and that the SU does not have access to the contract so they took advice from the university’s commercial manager as to what they were allowed in terms of sponsorship.
Hynes is assured that the SU is still on “good terms” with AIB and highlighted that a new leadership programme in partnership with the bank is going to be unveiled soon. Hynes understood the situation and agreed that “AIB have to be over-cautious not to lose any of their market share”.
The worth of the contract between KBC and the UCDSU has not been disclosed. AIB have been contacted for comment, but at the time of writing no response has been received.