Thursday 19 January 2017

Transformation from bookie to banker is long overdue

It might be desirable to have people who know gambling is for mugs running the banks, writes Declan Lynch

Published 18/05/2014 | 02:30

Illustration by Jim Cogan
Illustration by Jim Cogan

PATRICK Kennedy, chief executive of Paddy Power, will be leaving his post in a year's time. And according to various business reporters, there is speculation that he may eventually "head up" Bank of Ireland, where he already has a "role" as a non-executive director.

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Now, there was a time in Ireland, and indeed in most advanced societies, when even the mere speculation that a bank might be run by a bookie would cause some excitement. Even, perhaps, a touch of anxiety.

Terry Rogers, for example, who was effectively the chairman and chief executive of the Terry Rogers turf accountancy corporation, a man of tremendous energy and charisma and a mathematical genius, would hardly have been in the running for one of the great roles in Irish banking.

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