Friday 24 November 2017

Guru sets out to convince world we're dealing with bank crisis

Laura Noonan

Laura Noonan

THE Department of Finance's new banking guru John Moran is embarking on an international charm offensive to convince the world Ireland has finally gotten to grips with the banking crisis.

The recent recruit to the Department of Finance yesterday confirmed he would travel to tomorrow's "informal" meeting of European finance ministers in Budapest to set out Ireland's banking stall.

Mr Moran is also pencilling in trips to finance ministries in strategically important countries such as Britain, France and Germany, as well as the International Monetary Fund nerve centre in the US.

"People want to understand the banking crisis, so we have to go out there and explain it," Mr Moran said. "When you read things in the French press, you realise how far some of the views are from the reality."

Plans for the international outreach come a fortnight after Mr Moran departed his role as the Central Bank's head of wholesale banking supervision so he could take a temporary post with the Department of Finance.

Mr Moran's new role includes helping the department to "deal with the bank restructuring agenda and various other associated issues", according to a memo circulated to his new colleagues.

His comments came at the sidelines of the Federation of International Banks in Ireland conference, where Mr Moran told delegates their IFSC banks might soon be treated to parts of the recent stress tests.

Tests

"Some international banks were stress-tested last year and I think that should continue," said Mr Moran, pointing to the benefits of applying the "mindset if not the rigour" of the tests to other Irish banks.

The banking expert also stressed that even though the strategy announced last week was built around the "two pillars" of Bank of Ireland and AIB, there would be space for international players as well.

"There is a third pillar, the foreign part of the market; that's a key element and we need to encourage that, because out of that we will see competition," he told the conference.

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