Tuesday 23 October 2018

The Punt: Central Bank staff holiday for 'job well done'

A party in Wonderland .
A party in Wonderland .

MOST people who think about it, consider the Central Bank to be doing a poor job. That was certainly the view of the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) which recently castigated the Central Bank for putting the needs of banks ahead of those of consumers.

Then there is the neverending mortgage arrears crisis, the departure of key staff on a regular basis and SME debt strangling the banks.

Only this week, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi revealed in a letter to Fianna Fail's Michael McGrath that Ireland's banks face "outstanding issues which still require to be addressed". Mr Draghi highlighted the need to complete "restructuring and reforms", addressing the "still very large stock of non-performing loans" and "ensuring the viability of all nationalised banks".

Surely all this indicates that the Central Bank is not performing very well, under the stewardship of Governor Patrick Honohan. Not a bit of it, it seems.

In the 'Alice In Wonderland' fairyland that the Central Bank operates in, its executives feel they are doing a great job. Such a good job, in fact, that staff will get at least one extra day off after the bank gave itself a top grade of over 85pc for the third year in a row. More than 1,400 staff will benefit from the extra holiday.

As Alice told the Queen in the Lewis Carroll classic: "It would be so nice if something made sense for a change."


Experienced Hurley to lead Cats Commerce

THERE's a new chief at the helm of Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce. John Hurley, who previously held a variety of management roles within the general insurance industry, is to focus on building the membership base of the chamber and promote Kilkenny as a place for business.

Mr Hurley appears well suited to the job having held a variety of roles. Still, Hurley has big feet to fill.

He succeeds the energetic Donie Butler who was once commercial director of the Football Association of Ireland during the 'Jack Charlton era' in Irish soccer. Butler has more recently been in charge of MacDonagh Junction shopping centre. Hurley also succeeds KCLR radio station managing director John Purcell who has been making national waves with his energetic campaign on behalf of the commercial radio sector in recent years as chairman of the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland.

Hurley is no slouch. He is a lecturer to Financial Service Industry professionals on a wide range of business modules. A former Chairman of the Board of Management, Kilkenny School Project NS and a Chartered Toastmaster. He is currently the President of the Rotary Club of Kilkenny and is a qualified Chartered Insurer who holds a Masters degree in Business Administration.


UCD honour for first lady of Glanbia group

THE Punt is a fan of Siobhan Talbot. She's the first woman to have taken over at the helm of a public company in Ireland after rising through the ranks of dairy group Glanbia. That's not an easy feat in the corporate world.

A new survey shows that in Britain, of the 291 executive directors on FTSE 100 boards, 20 are women – the same number as two years ago. Much work remains to be done.

Ms Talbot is to be honoured next week at the UCD Business Alumni of the Year 2014 Awards at a gala reception at the Four Seasons Hotel, along with Citibank Europe chief Aidan Brady.

That event also helps promote the business leaders of tomorrow, as all the profits raised will be donated to the university's centennial scholarship fund.

Ms Talbot enjoyed a good set of results earlier this month which beat expectations. Glanbia shareholders will be hoping she will ensure continued success for the company.

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