Saturday 20 January 2018

Former BoI chief appointed to board of banking commission

Siobhan Creaton

FINANCE Minister Brian Lenihan has appointed former Bank of Ireland boss Mike Soden as a member of the Central Bank Commission responsible for regulating financial institutions.

Mr Soden, who came to the bank following an international career, was a controversial figure during his two-and-a-half year reign. He left in 2004 after issuing a personal statement.

On arrival at the bank in 2002, he suggested it should be merged with AIB and continues to hold that view.

He has reinvented himself as a commentator on the banking crisis and has recently published 'Open Dissent', his book on the subject.

He has repeatedly offered his services to Mr Lenihan to sort out the mess and claims to have prompted the minister to hire his former colleague, Mike Aynsley, to run Anglo.

Mr Soden will be joined on the Central Bank Commission by banking expert Max Watson, who recently completed a preliminary investigation into the banking crisis here; ESRI economist John Fitzgerald; former SIPTU president Des Geraghty; and UCD professor Blanaid Clarke.

The minister said these appointments would bring "a wealth and diversity of talent and experience" to the commission and that they represented a very significant step in the reform process.

Mr Soden and Mr Geraghty will each serve on the commission for four years. Prof Clarke will have a three-year term, while Prof Fitzgerald and Mr Watson will each undertake five-year stints.

The commission is responsible for the stability of the financial system and the protection of consumers' interests.

Irish Independent

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