Saturday 23 March 2019

Central Bank's chief economist leaving for role with the IMF

Colm Kelpie and Donal O'Donovan

THE Central Bank's chief economist Lars Frisell is leaving to take up a job with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Swedish economist joined the Dame Street-based bank in June last year. He is due to take up his post with the Washington-based IMF in March.

It is the latest high-profile departure from the Central Bank, after Matthew Elderfield left earlier in the year to take up a job with Lloyds Bank in London.

It is understood the process to replace Mr Frisell will take place shortly.

Governor Patrick Honohan wished Mr Frisell well in his new appointment.

"Even in the short time he has been with us, Lars has had a big impact on the effectiveness and performance of the Bank's economics team," Mr Honohan said.

Mr Frisell joined the Central Bank in June 2012 from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority where he had been chief economist since 2009.

Prior to that, he held a number of roles at the Swedish Central Bank – the Riksbank – including as deputy head of the financial stability department, and head of the macroprudential and financial markets division.

He has also worked in research roles at the Riksbank, European Central Bank and Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung.

Mr Elderfield left the Central Bank in recent months after four years, to take up a job with the UK's biggest mortgage lender, Lloyds Bank

The announcement in April came just months after his former deputy Jonathan McMahon also left the bank to seek a job in the private sector.

He left the Central Bank after two years in 2012 and is now a partner and global head of bank restructuring at international accountants Mazars, where he advises banks and insurance firms on how to deal with new regulatory and competition rules.

It is expected that Mr Frisell will remain with the bank until March.

However a search for his replacement is expected to get under way imminently.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank is to expand its monitoring of social media.

The Consumer Protection Directorate in the bank holds an existing contract with a firm, to provide social media services, but the contract is due to expire early next year.

The Central Bank is now tendering for a new provider, but the contract will also include requirements of the Securities & Markets Supervision Division, as well as the Consumer Protection Directorate.

Irish Independent

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