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'Shortcomings' wouldn't happen today, claims Central Bank


The Central Bank.

The Central Bank.

The Central Bank.

The Central Bank has said that it is "confident" that "shortcomings" identified in court by Judge Nolan would not happen now.

Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan and current Financial Regulator Cyril Roux last night refused to comment on the judge's comments about the role played by their body in the Anglo Irish Bank illegal loans scandal.

But the issue is set to dominate two public events where the Central Bank governor is due to speak today.

The judge's claims go beyond previous suggestions that "light touch" regulators had failed to keep on top of the developing banking crisis in 2008, by suggesting that state officials may have contributed to law breaking by failing to block the scheme.

Mr Honohan was not available to comment on the claims, despite appearing at a public event in Dublin yesterday.

The governor – who is an academic economist by profession – was chairing a session of a conference on statistics and economics at the Dublin office of global banking giant Citigroup when the news emerged from the Dublin Central Criminal Court, but his staff said he would not be speaking to reporters.

A spokeswoman for the Central Bank failed to respond to requests from this newspaper to interview Mr Roux in relation to the case.

However, the Central Bank governor will face reporters' questions on the issue today when he is due at a previously scheduled press conference to announce the publication of the Central Bank's annual report.

Later in the afternoon, he is due in front of the Oireachtas Committee on Finance at Leinster House to talk about the mortgage crisis.

However, TDs and senators are unlikely to raise the issue of the regulator's role in the Anglo loans case.

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In a statement last night the Central Bank said it "notes the court's comments on the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority's actions at the time of the Anglo Irish Bank share purchase transaction in July 2008.

"The Central Bank has substantially strengthened Ireland's capacity in financial regulation and supervision over the past number of years and introduced sweeping changes in supervisory practices. It is confident that the shortcomings identified by the court would not recur today".

Neither Mr Honohan nor Mr Roux was employed at the Central Bank in 2008.

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