Tuesday 24 October 2017

Troubled road ahead for new CEO

Noel Brett
Noel Brett

The joke is they needed someone who knew their way around a car crash. The new chief executive of the Irish Banking Federation (IBF) Noel Brett, right, got his baptism of fire at the group's annual conference, the first big gig since he joined from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) in July.

In recent years the IBF event has provoked controversy – especially when the Central Bank's Fiona Muldoon compared the assembled pin stripe suited grandees to mopey teenagers – for their lacklustre approach.

Yesterday DCU's Tony Foley threw the curve ball. He told bankers they could be storing up a major social crisis, even after they finally started getting it together in terms of tackling the arrears issue.

Tony Foley's brutally frank insight was that leaving banks to each deal with their own borrowers is a crisis waiting to happen.

Think about the implications in future as one set of struggling borrowers lose their home, while others get debt deals, not because they have behaved any differently but simply because lender A takes a different approach than lender B.

The Punt noted bankers shifting uncomfortably in their seats while that idea sank in. Mr Brett will have his work cut out keeping a lid on this one.

Irish Independent

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