Central Bank and Financial regulator Boards in 2008
The Central Bank and Financial Regulator were both separate and interconnected as Anglo Irish Bank began to implode in early 2008. While the Financial Regulator was a standalone outfit, its board included several who also served as directors of the Central Bank.
The €368,000 governor of the Central Bank was the most powerful civil servant in the country when it came to the banking sector. The Mallow man had worked in the Department of Finance before landing the top job on Dame Street in 2002. He retired at the end of 2009, with academic Patrick Honohan replacing him. It marked the end of a 66-year tradition where top Department of Finance mandarins moved to the Central Bank as governor.
The former director general and deputy governor, Tony Grimes was another career civil servant working at the Central Bank. Grimes retired in 2010 on a finishing salary of €249,674. However, as the bank did not replace him until Sept 2011, he received €64,356 until his replacement, Stefan Gerlach, was appointed. Last year it emerged that he had been rehired to oversee the implementation of the National Payments Plan Steering Committee. He also served on the board of the Financial Regulator from april 2008 onwards.
Bearded ICTU boss David Begg was first appointed to the board of the Central Bank in 1995 and was the longest serving of its non-executive directors. Not the most experienced in the intricacies of high finance, Begg's main experience in commerce was working as the chief executive of a charity before moving to ICTU. The social partnership programme introduced by Bertie Ahern saw the appointment of swathes of trades union insiders to plum paid positions in quangos and other State boards.
Senior Counsel Gerry Danaher was another long-serving director of the Central Bank, having been first appointed back in October 1998. He was also a board member of the National Museum. Danaher joined the board of the Financial Regulator in 2003.
Former Department of Finance Secretary General David Doyle was one of the main guys at the wheel as the economy went over a cliff. At the peak, he had a salary of €285,000 per year and had his pension topped up before retiring.
The former IBEC head was appointed to the board of the Central Bank in 2003 as the property market began to overhead. He was also a board member of the financial regulator from 2003 onwards. Seen as a safe pair of hands Dunne also served as the chairman of the IDA.
Former Revenue Commissioner chief Dermot Quigley joined the board of the Financial Regulator in 2003 as a non-executive director. Quigley's 42 years in the public service included 26 years in the Department of Finance where he rose to the rank of assistant secretary.
Farrell was on both the board of the Central Bank and the chairman of the Financial Regulator. He was in effect – the boss of the hapless Patrick Neary. Farrell replaced former Vodafone chairman Brian Patterson as chairman in May 2008. The former HSBC banker has returned to banking, picking up board room roles at Citibank and Hewlett Packard Bank since the crash.
Patterson was one of the best-known names in the corporate world in the early naughties – serving as chairman of the Irish Times at one stage. He chaired the Financial Regulator from 2003 until he retired in mid 2008. He was also chairman of Vodafone and the National Competitiveness Council. Previously, he had run the Wedgewood part of Waterford Wedgewood – before the business imploded. He's listed as a director of Orecco and Scurri nowadays.
European Commission policy wonk Donovan was appointed to the board of the Central Bank in 1989, eventually leaving as the crisis erupted in Mid 2008.
Former managing director of Standard Life Ireland and a chairman of the Rotunda, Ashe was one of the original members of the Financial Regulator's board when joining in 2003. He'd previously worked in banking and industry. He was recently a board member of the Ireland Romania Cultural Foundation.
The consumer director of the Financial Regulator was responsible for the "I don't know what a tracker mortgage is" ads of the naughties. She joined the board in mid 2008 and took over as acting chief executive following Neary's exit. She subsequently landed the plum job in the IMF and World Bank.
Former Fianna Fail Education Minister and Minister for State for Economic Planning O'Donoghue served on the Central Bank board for almost a decade until leaving in mid 2008. The former waiter is an emeritus professor at Trinity.
Economist Alan Gray joined the board of the Central Bank and the Financial Regulator in December 2006. He runs the Indecon economic consultancy.
Former Fianna Fail senator Hillery was another wellconnected businessman at the heart of corporate Ireland. The former INM and Providence chairman was appointed to the Central Bank board in May 2008. He sits on the board of the National Pensions Reserve Fund, which holds the taxpayer stakes in AIB and Bank of Ireland.
The utterly hapless Patrick Neary will go down as one of the worst appointments in the history of the State. He became the Financial Regulator in 2006 following the departure of Liam O'Reilly. Neary's key strategy was "principles based" regulation. . . which meant relying on the banks themselves not to get into too much trouble. It failed. Neary retired at the start of 2009 with a bumper pay-off and a €120,000-a-year pension.
Perhaps the only romantic novelist ever to serve on the board of a Central Bank anywhere in the universe. Purcell joined the board in 2003. She was also appointed to the board of the Financial Regulator at the same time. The former journalist and Abbey actress wrote Falling for a Dancer and 18 other novels. Now does What It Says In The Papers for RTE radio.
NCB's chief economist Dermot O'Brien was one of the best-known economic soothsayers during the boom. He joined the Central Bank board in summer 2008.
Horan was an attendee at Financial Regulator board meetings rather than a director. The civil servant was the prudential director for the regulator had hands on supervision of the banking sector and featured prominently at the recent Anglo trial. The role of the Regulator's office was carpeted by Judge Martin Nolan during the trial. Nolan is on secondment to the European Banking authority, which is developing the stress tests for the Irish banks, but is expected to return to an unspecified role in the Central Bank in Dublin later this year.
Civil servant Moloney was not a board member but attended board meetings as secretary.