Tuesday 20 February 2018

Busy watchdog makes crucial change to... web profile

Tom Molloy

IT'S been a busy week for financial regulator Matthew Elderfield as he did battle with the combined might of Quinn Insurance and the banks but not so busy that Mr Elderfield was unable to find a few minutes to change his Linked-In site, the social networking site for business people.

On Tuesday, the regulator's site proclaimed he had a host of interests including "job offers".

This was quickly removed after the comments were mentioned in passing in a profile on Wednesday.

Anyone looking at the profile now will see that Mr Elderfield, who has a five-year contract with the regulator and is busy house-hunting in Dublin at the moment, is interested in only one thing; "getting back in touch".

Back in harness

NICE to see the likeable banker John Trethowan is back in the saddle as the head of the newly-minted Credit Review Office.

Mr Trethowan successfully cleaned up National Irish Bank before it was sold off to Danske Bank and is now back as the head of a one-man-and- his-dog operation based in the East Point business park in Dublin. Finance Minister Brian Lenihan has ordered the 56-year-old banker not to "empire build" and it seems the order has been taken to heart.

Mr Trethowan will be hiring a small group of retired bankers to review loan refusals on a case-by-case basis. Mr Trethowan was one of 20 people from political, religious and civic backgrounds chosen by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in 2006 to join the Task Force on Active Citizenship which tried to encourage a strong civic culture.

Security risk

PERHAPS we don't need to worry too much about the cloak of secrecy which has been thrown around the National Asset Management Agency.

Although excluded from the Freedom of Information act, NAMA appears almost indifferent to security considerations judging from the guidelines sent to developers who must soon supply NAMA with highly sensitive information about their affairs.

Naturally this information has to be protected with a password before it is sent to NAMA by registered post.

What is perhaps a little surprising is that the password is an easy-to-guess word named in the document that would be known to any other developer submitting information to the agency and even the most primitive of hackers.

The German way

THEY do things differently, and perhaps a little more openly, in Germany. Dublin-based Depfa Bank has parted ways with chairman Axel Wieandt who also held the top job at Hypo Real Estate Holding back home.

There was none of the guff we see here in the short statement on Dr Wieandt's departure. We were told instead that he has quit the lender "due to differing views with the Financial Market Stabilisation Fund on the management of the group." The stabilisation fund is the state agency that manages Germany's stakeholding in several banks. Could we see similar announcements here soon?

Irish Independent

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