Sunday 25 March 2018

Emmet Oliver: This Financial Regulator is a man who means business

Emmet Oliver

THE close-knit financial community of Dublin has never seen anything quite like it. Nor has the Irish banking sector or Sean Quinn. But firm, uncompromising financial regulation has come to Ireland and is being dispensed by a slightly gangly, ever-so-polite Englishman called Matthew.

At a meeting yesterday of the Oireachtas Committee on Economic and Regulatory Affairs, the shocked faces of TDs and senators said it all. Matthew Elderfield, the former regulator for Bermuda, is polite, occasionally diplomatic, but mostly just blunt.

The Irish financial system has for years been run on the basis of close personal connections and not doing anything to inhibit the short-term profitability of the banks. Regulators and bankers were friends and enjoyed a cosy relationship.

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