Wednesday 17 January 2018

The Punt: Central Bank gets Cross

The Central Bank in Dublin
The Central Bank in Dublin

The Central Bank's about to get some new blood. Dame Street announced yesterday that Gerry Cross has been appointed to the role of Director, Policy and Risk.

Cross has had a pretty varied career, with senior posts held in a range of organisations in Brussels, Washington and the UK.

Cross joins the Central Bank from the Association for Financial Markets in Europe, where he holds the position of managing director for advocacy and is head of AFME's Brussels office.

Prior to that, he was deputy director for regulatory affairs and the Institute of International Finance in Washington.

And before that, he spent eight years in policy functions at the UK Financial Services Authority.

During that period he was seconded to the European Commission for an extended period where he worked on bank regulation.

A barrister by training, he has practised at the Irish Bar and has also been a lecturer at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

In his new role Cross will oversee the development and implementation of regulatory policy in relation to banking, insurance, funds, and securities and markets both domestically and internationally.

Deputy Governor Cyril Roux said that Cross' breadth of experience in financial policy-making "places him in very good stead to lead regulatory policy in the Central Bank at a time of broad-based change."

A graduate of University College Dublin and Cambridge, he will begin the job on May 5.

Wall hops back over the fence

What a pleasant surprise to see former Irish Independent business news editor Vincent Wall returning to journalism as Newstalk's business editor.

In his time at this newspaper Wall broke tons of stories off the back of a massive list of contacts and a keen understanding of this country's business environment.

He would often know about a company's deals before the shareholders did, and put the fear of God in management teams when he came calling,

In recent years Wall has been working in corporate communications, particularly in the aviation, real estate, retail and education sectors.

Before his consulting career he was director of communications for the DAA.

He has also worked for RTE and is a former editor of 'Business and Finance' magazine.

Wall's first broadcast as Newstalk's business editor is scheduled for Monday, March 9, and the Punt looks forward to tuning in to the station.

Cutting edge Ulster Bank

Ulster Bank is doing its best to show it's a cutting-edge bank, leading the way in customer service.

The bank announced yesterday the appointment of Maeve McMahon as its first director of customer experience and products.

Ulster said the newly-created role demonstrates its "commitment to our customers, and our ambition to become the number one across Ireland for customer service, trust and advocacy".

That sounds lovely. But it gets better.

It seems part of the new role is for McMahon to dabble in a little bit of broadcasting. Because Ulster boss Jim Brown said she'll be tasked with developing "insight, marketing and customer interaction programmes."

Customer interaction programmes, you say? What a clever idea. Forget 'Talk to Joe'. 'Talk to Maeve' instead.

One assumes that if you have a complaint about an ATM being out of cash, or you're stuck in a long queue at a branch, you just ring up Maeve's customer interaction programme, and give her an earful.

Bravo, Ulster Bank. In terms of customer service, that's thinking outside the box.

McMahon is well qualified for the role. She's worked for companies as diverse as GE Capital, MasterCard and Lombard Finance.

It might also be worth her while popping down to the Liveline studios and seeing how Joe handles all those disgruntled listeners.

But The Punt is a little puzzled, because another one of her tasks is to develop "customer-focused products".

Ulster Bank, shouldn't all your products be customer-focused?

Irish Independent

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