Friday 23 March 2018

Deputy governor job may be split as Central Bank bosses get rise

The Central Bank headquarters in Dublin
The Central Bank headquarters in Dublin
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

The Central Bank is reportedly considering splitting the role of deputy governor for financial regulation into two positions to deal with the demand the regulator may face post-Brexit.

According to Bloomberg, one position would potentially manage prudential regulation, overseeing financial stability and banks' capital levels, and another role would be in charge of protecting consumers.

A second, less likely, possibility is one role to regulate domestic commercial and retail banking, and another to supervise international banking operations based in Ireland, such as trading and investment banking, the financial newswire reported yesterday.

Dublin has been tipped as a possible contender to attract financial services firms displaced from London by Brexit.

It comes as Cyril Roux, the current deputy governor for financial regulation, leaves the Central Bank this weekend to go on gardening leave after it was announced that he will return to the private sector in September.

Meanwhile, Central Bank governor Professor Philip Lane and his deputy, Sharon Donnery, have received a pay rise of around €7,000 each.

Prof Lane's gross salary will now be €261,476, up from €254,048, while Ms Donnery's rises to €227,370 from €220,911.

The increases, which took effect this month, are being rolled out under legislation aimed at ensuring public service pay and pensions cuts introduced during the crisis are restored, according to the minutes of the latest meeting of the Central Bank Commission, released yesterday.

In addition, the minutes noted the restoration of increments for staff on salary scales with a minimum starting point in excess of €100,000. The changes were signed off by the Central Bank Commission at the end of February.

Staff on less than €100,000 also receive increments. A spokesman for the Central Bank said the increments are paid annually until the individual reaches the top of the scale like the Civil Service.

"The Civil Service has long service increments for three and six years at the maximum point of the scale, which the Central Bank does not," he added.

Of the senior management team, Mr Roux was the best paid last year. His salary was €310,000.

The minutes also noted that headcount had remained largely flat over recent months, and the bank had expressed concern that achieving its target for employment this year of an extra 200 full-time equivalents (FTEs) would be a significant challenge.

Bonus time off has also been given to staff at the bank as their performance during the year met or exceeded expectations.

Under the process, staff performance is assessed and then rewarded depending on the score achieved.

Last year, under the balanced scorecard measuring the bank's performance, the Central Bank received a score of 86pc.

Also at the Commission meeting, Ms Donnery told members that the technical problems on the whistleblower hotline had now been fully resolved.

The Irish Independent exposed the fact that the phone line was unmanned, had no facility for leaving a message, and emails were not answered.

Following the banking collapse, the Central Bank was told to put a so-called protected disclosure facility in place that would allow staff in financial-services companies to report questionable and illegal activity, particularly in banks.

To the end of last year, 49 reports were received to the whistleblower desk, of which six were received via phone lines. In January, seven reports were received, with one by phone.

The meeting heard January's figures were higher than normal.

Irish Independent

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