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Insurance regulator takes on banking supervision

THE Central Bank's straight-talking head of insurance supervision Fiona Muldoon is set to take over regulating all financial institutions after banking supervisor Jonathan McMahon announced his imminent return to the UK.

One of the first of the senior team that joined with Deputy Governor Matthew Elderfield, Mr McMahon came to the Central Bank in early 2010 and was a central figure in the stress tests and subsequent bank restructuring.

Asked about his departure yesterday, Mr McMahon said the reasons were "all very dull" and centred on his desire to move back to London with his young family.

It is understood that he told the Central Bank of his plans around Christmas. He will stay on until April, working on key projects including a report on bank deleveraging.

Mr McMahon's day-to-day role at the Central Bank will be filled immediately by Ms Muldoon, who will now have responsibility for supervising both insurers and banks (a role Mr McMahon held until Ms Muldoon's appointment last August).

Ms Muldoon, who grew up in Galway, has more than 20 years of finance experience and has already made waves in the insurance industry for what some claim is an "intrusive" regulation style.

"I don't believe that the job of the regulator is to win a popularity contest," Ms Muldoon said in January, adding that the "best companies" understood the need for enhanced supervision.

Ms Muldoon has also won respect in the insurance industry for her practical approach to regulation and her willingness to engage with stakeholders on new rules to see how they're panning out in practice and if they need to be modified in any way.

Irish Independent