Secret list of candidates for bank boards
A FULL list of the 30 'high-calibre individuals' who have made it on to the Government's panel for new bank directors will never be made public, the Department of Finance confirmed last night.
The news comes four months after the Government launched a public competition for new bank directors to safeguard the taxpayer's massive investment in our ailing institutions.
The department's banking chief, John Moran, recently confirmed that an initial pool of 480 applicants had been whittled down to a panel of 30 who would be considered by the Finance Minister for future appointments.
Asked about the identity of the 30, a spokesperson for the department yesterday described them as "individuals of high calibre and competency, both national and international" and had "extensive experience in a range of areas such as banking, finance, risk management, accounting and auditing".
The spokesperson added: "We do not propose to announce all the names of the persons on the panel. Names will be announced as appointments are made."
She declined to comment on the likely timing of appointments, but said that the Government wanted bank boards to be renewed "over a short time span" and had asked the two pillar banks -- AIB and Bank of Ireland -- to present plans along those lines.
The Irish Independent understands that the almost-nationalised AIB will announce "four or five" new directors over the coming weeks, replacing some who stood down at the bank's recent annual general meeting.
Irish Life & Permanent, which became 99pc-owned by the taxpayer at the end of July, is also likely to be asked to accept new government directors within a relatively short space of time, although the bancassurer yesterday said it had no information on when any appointments might be made.
Bank of Ireland may not have any new appointments, since the taxpayer was left owning just 15pc of the Richie Boucher-led bank after its recent €5bn recapitalisation drew in extensive private cash.
All the new appointments will have to go through the Central Bank's 'fitness and probity' standards. The bank will pre-approve senior appointments to financial institutions from September 1.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan has previously said that not all board seats that became available would be filled from the panel, since new potential directors may come forward.