Business Irish

Sunday 17 December 2017

Honohan urges banks to provide markets with more loan data

Laura Noonan

IRISH banks have "much to gain" from making more meaningful loans data available to the market, Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan said yesterday.

He also said the banks should do so without being forced. The comments came as billionaire US investor Wilbur Ross told the world his bid to buy EBS was the "strongest demonstration" of his belief that Ireland would emerge from the crisis as a "safe, strong country".

Speaking before an accountants' gathering, Prof Honohan said Ireland's banks could help themselves by providing "much more extensive" data to the market on loan books.

"Bottom line: the banks might do well to call in the leading credit analysts and find out what information would be of greatest use to them in identifying tail risks. And then provide it," said Prof Honohan.

"If there is no information, the credit analyst tends to assume the worst."


A spokeswoman for Bank of Ireland said the bank already provided "extensive" data to the market and "reviews" these disclosures on a continuous basis to ensure they remain "relevant, timely and in line with good practice".

Both IL&P and AIB said they would be considering Prof Honohan's comments.

Meanwhile, Mr Ross who is part of the Cardinal consortium vying with IL&P to take over EBS, yesterday used an appearance on Bloomberg TV to heap praise on the Government's efforts to resolve Ireland's financial crisis.

Ireland had taken "very drastic measures" to restore its finances, Mr Ross told the global audience, pointing to reductions in public sector wage costs and the NAMA project.

"Ireland, of all countries, really deserves help because it had been the economic miracle until its banks, like so many others, got carried away," he said.

On the subject of his EBS bid, Mr Ross said it was the "strongest demonstration" of his believe that "Ireland will turn around and come back out of this, perhaps not as the same Celtic Tiger that it has been, but as a safe, strong, country".

Irish Independent

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