Laura Noonan: New reality for banks as regulator wields big stick
'WALK softly and carry no stick". In just six words, Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan summed up the boom-time approach of the Financial Regulator -- an approach that let Ireland's banks get hammered on irresponsible lending and inflict their collective hangover on every taxpayer in the country.
The new guardians of Ireland's financial regulation yesterday attempted to draw a permanent line under the dismal record of their predecessors in favour of a new era of "intrusive" and vigorous supervision.
In the good old days, supervision efforts were so ad hoc they were almost random, as an overstretched team tackled unmanageably weighty workloads with varying levels of application and direction.