Sunday 26 March 2017

Went group says banks no longer getting promotion

Emmet Oliver Deputy Business Editor

It is no longer clear who is responsible for promoting financial services in Ireland after recent government reforms, the industry group chaired by David Went has claimed.

The Central Bank Reform Bill has abolished the industry panel, led by Mr Went, and the consumer panel -- both of which advised the Central Bank and the Financial Regulator.

The industry panel in particular was heavily involved in promoting the IFSC and made recent attempts to address the negative image surrounding banking in Ireland.

However, despite the appointment of the so-called 'IFSC tsar', John Bruton, the industry panel will shortly be wound up.

Recent meeting

Minutes from a recent meeting of Mr Went's panel indicate that its members are not happy with this decision.

The minutes record that: "Members expressed concern that with the change in Central Bank Commission remit it is unclear who will be responsible for developing the financial services industry in Ireland."

The panel also includes representatives from the Irish stock exchange, retail banks and several leading insurance companies. Its work programme is now "redundant", claim the minutes.

The minutes also record another reservation from the panel's members.

"In addition, the abolition of the panel removes a valuable consultative mechanism for both regulator and regulated bodies.

"However, the panel agreed that it should be up to the individual representative bodies to lobby as appropriate in this regard."

Mr Went, the former chairman of Irish Life & Permanent, has spoken over the last year about his shock at some of the revelations concerning Irish banks.

For example, he placed some of the blame for the banking crisis on foreign institutions putting too much credit into the Irish market.

Irish Independent

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