Friday 24 November 2017

Second chance for old US pals

STAFF at the country's biggest banks are preparing for an influx of Americans.

US financial consultancy Oliver Wyman has been selected to perform health checks on Europe's biggest banks in the run-up to the new ECB banking supervisor, the agency that will take direct responsibility for regulating Bank of Ireland, AIB and Permanent TSB from the end of next year.

This will be something of a reunion for Ireland's most senior bankers and the team at Oliver Wyman.

The financial advisory firm was in Ireland only last year, helping to totally reorganise operations at PTSB at the behest of British chief executive Jeremy Masding.

Its consultants stayed at the luxury Four Seasons Hotel in Ballsbridge while carrying out the task, mostly at the cost of the taxpayer since Permo is almost entirely owned by the State.

But it's not those expensive tastes that Wyman is most famed for in Irish financial circles. No, its the 2007 declaration by the consultancy that Anglo Irish was the "best bank in the world".

Just a year later the Government was forced to nationalise Anglo at a cost of billions. Wyman also verified Bank of Ireland's bad debt levels at €6bn in 2009 – but the bank exceeded this within months by €1bn.

The Punt has three words for these guys: must do better.

Irish Independent

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