Tuesday 23 January 2018

Draft law to re-merge bank and watchdog is imminent

Joe Brennan

The Government is preparing to unveil next week long-awaited draft legislation to bring about the re-merger of the financial watchdog with the Central Bank after a seven-year hiatus.

Most of the other banking announcements that had been expected next week -- including figures from Anglo Irish Bank and Bank of Ireland, and a keenly anticipated speech from Finance Minister Brian Lenihan -- have been pushed out to the following week.

It is expected, however, that the first transfers of loans to the National Asset Management Agency will take place next Friday, paving the way for an announcement on the initial discounts the following week.

Mr Lenihan first mooted plans to bring the two financial supervisory authorities under the roof of a new Central Banking Authority last June.


The spin-off of the Financial Regulator from the functions of the Central Bank in 2003, with an unofficial 'light touch' mandate, was widely viewed to have contributed to the property bubble and financial crisis.

Nine days ago, the new head of financial regulation, Matthew Elderfield, sought to "move beyond the debate on rules-versus-principles-based regulation", saying that a "judicious mix" of the two was required.

In his first public speech since taking up office in January, he signalled he was planning an "assertive" regime where the level of scrutiny institutions faced depended on their size and risk profile. He vowed that it would be backed by "the credible threat of enforcement".

Irish Independent

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