Banks pay 30pc more for their own regulation
FINANCIAL institutions will pay almost 30pc more towards their regulation this year than they did in 2009, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan revealed yesterday.
Mr Lenihan said the finance industry paid levies of €34.5m last year, a figure that will rise to €42.2m in 2010. The higher fees "reflect increased regulation", he said, referring to the Financial Regulator's ramped-up supervision efforts.
Regulator Matthew Elderfield is adding another 150 staff to his 380-strong workforce this year, and plans to hire another batch in 2011. Mr Elderfield is also pushing for the finance industry to pay 100pc of the cost of their regulation, up from their current contribution of roughly 50pc.
The Department of Finance is expected to begin industry consultation on supervisory funding shortly, but Mr Lenihan yesterday shot down proposals for a "review" of what higher levies would mean for banks.
"That would be used by the sector to wriggle out of making payments," he said, rejecting the suggestion put forward by Fine Gael.
"Shoestring regulation will not work," Mr Lenihan stressed, adding that the Central Bank Reform Bill struck a balance between "resourcing the [Central] Bank and giving it a blank cheque".