Minister to appoint two "Consumer Champions" to Central Bank board

Brendan Burgess

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From the Minister for Finance's press release yesterday on trackers

(ii) Appointment of Consumer Champions to the Central Bank Commission

In line with the Central Bank’s request to maximise fully the range and depth of experience on the Central Bank Commission, my Department and the Public Appointments Service are preparing to launch a call for applications from qualified individuals to fill the two vacancies on the Commission. This call is particularly seeking individuals with an established track record of representing the rights of consumers and who can shape how banks interact fairly with their customers. To aid the search process, the Public Appointments Service will be working with a specialist Executive Search firm. I would hope to finalise these two appointments as soon as possible in the New Year once the selection process has been completed.
 

gnf_ireland

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Appointing Brendan or Padraic would be a masterstroke on their side - as it would effectively silence them !
 

gnf_ireland

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moved from another thread - Brendan
@Brendan Burgess I guess it all would depend on how you would have taken on the role. Its a tough ask to break into an established company environment effectively run by what is perceived as an autocrat.

In a similar way, if you were on the board of the Irish League of Credit Unions, what would you have pushed to improve and how would you go about doing it?

A lone 'negative' voice is often not listened to on the board - so would you have gone to raise your concerns to the auditors, CB, Regulator itself or the media?

Personally I would say you dodged a bullet !

I wonder given the state of play at the moment, should the CB have a nominated representative on the board of every bank and formally report back on a quarterly basis to their masters ? If this role existed, then in theory, there should be sufficient power in the position
 
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moneymakeover

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There must be people out there with proven track record on consumer protection

Nice one Brendan but don't think you fit the bill
 

Brendan Burgess

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There must be people out there with proven track record on consumer protection
Hi mm

There are very few.

It would be a tough position to fill. You need someone who has a record campaigning for consumer protection but who has some sense of perspective. That is very hard to find.

Brendan
 

gnf_ireland

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It would be a tough position to fill. You need someone who has a record campaigning for consumer protection but who has some sense of perspective. That is very hard to find.
Plus the person would need to be strong enough to stand up to a very 'one sided' board, and feel they have the authority to speak on behalf of consumers. They would also need to know what battles to fight and how to best go about achieving their agenda.

I would probably prefer to see a strong seasoned board member/business person with a good social conscience in the role (that can handle the politics of it) rather than someone who always disagrees with the status quo but never has any ideas on how to fix it.
Think of a [good] minority government minister rather than a left wing opposition leader.
 

Brendan Burgess

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Here are the current members:

Insiders/bankers
Philip Lane - Governor
Sharon Donnery - Deputy Governor
Ed Sibley - Deputy Governor
Derek Moran - Secretary General of the Department of Finance
Michael Soden - former Chief Executive of Bank of Ireland

Half and half
Patricia Byron - Former president of the Insurance Institute and chair of the Injuries Board and MIAB

Independent members
Alan Ahearne - Chairman of the ESRI; Professor of Economics in NUI - Galway
John Fitzgerald - former professor at the ESRI
Des Geraghty - former president of SIPTU
Blanaid Clarke - Lecturer in law in TCD - specialising in corporate governance
 

noproblem

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I'd love to know exactly what the selection process is? I myself as a citizen of Ireland would hope that a candidate hasn't already been decided on.
 

Bronte

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Appointing Brendan or Padraic would be a masterstroke on their side - as it would effectively silence them !
I wonder would it though. Both men are pretty much their own men, well able to speak and not afraid of doing so.
 

gnf_ireland

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Both men are pretty much their own men, well able to speak and not afraid of doing so.
I would imagine that as board members they would have to sign some sort of non-disclosure agreements and would be privy to certain information that could not be made public. I fully agree re the personalities involved, but I am guessing that the position would restrict them per se in what they could say or disclose !

Others are welcome to correct me on this though !
 

Brendan Burgess

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The Central Bank is subject to Section 33 AK of the Central Bank Act which means that they cannot disclose any information picked up as part of their supervision work.

So, say I were on the board of the Central Bank. No better still, say David Hall were on the board. As the IMHO director, he might be publicly calling for the Central Bank to take enforcement action against Bank of Ireland for the tracker mortgage issue. But as a board member, he would be getting the update from the Supervision Executive on the progress of their investigation. He would probably have to leave the room for that part of the meeting and the minutes would have to be redacted for him.

From time to time, I meet the different banks to get information or to lobby on different issues. So a couple of weeks ago I met guys in AIB to discuss the way in which they calculate the break fees on fixed rate mortgages. As a Director of the Central Bank, I could not have such meetings. So would it be better for me to say to the CB staff - AIB is calculating its mortgage break fees wrong - go investigate!

I can't really see how a consumer champion could serve on the board and continue their consumer championing. They could recruit someone with "academic" consumer experience or championing experience in the non-financial sector.

Brendan
 

Brendan Burgess

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Call for expressions of interest

– Central Bank Commission


Tuesday 6th February 2018

The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, invites expressions of interest from suitably qualified candidates for two vacant positions on the Commission of the Central Bank of Ireland, which manages and controls the affairs and activities of the Central Bank.

The selection process will be managed by the Public Appointments Service and undertaken in accordance with the Guidelines for Appointments to State Boards, which was published by the Government in November 2014.

To aid the search process, the Public Appointments Service is working with specialists from PWC’s Executive Search function, who were appointed by tender.

Minister Donohoe commented:

“Back in December, I committed to appointing Consumer Champions to the Central Bank Commission, in line with the Central Bank’s request to maximise fully the range and depth of experience on the Central Bank Commission. This is an independent and transparent process, being run by the Public Appointments Service, seeking high-calibre individuals with the skills to shape how banks interact fairly with their customers.

Candidates who can demonstrate a track record as a senior leader with experience in the areas identified in the public call for expressions of interest are invited to apply.

I hope to finalise these appointments as soon as possible once the selection process has been completed.”

Details on the roles in question, the criteria for applicants, and how to apply can be found at http://www.stateboards.ie/stateboards/campaignAdvert/71257.htm.
 

Brendan Burgess

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The Consumer Champions have been appointed according to an article in today's Sunday Times

Donohoe selects ex-banker to stick up for consumers

John Trethowan, who served briefly as chief executive of the former National Irish Bank, and Niamh Moloney, a professor at the London School of Economics, joined the Central Bank commission last month.




Niamh Moloney is Professor of Financial Markets Law and Head of the Department of Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in summer 2018. Niamh specializes in EU financial market regulation and consumer financial protection and has written several books on these subjects. She has been a Visiting Professor in several leading Law Schools internationally, including Columbia Law School, New York and is a member of the Editorial Boards of a number of internationally-recognised journals.

Niamh is currently a Member of the Board of Appeal of the European Supervisory Authorities and has previously been a member of the Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group of the European Securities and Markets Authority, Chair of the Central Bank of Ireland’s Consumer Advisory Group, and a Member of the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s Financial Services Consumer Panel. Niamh has also acted as Special Adviser to the 2014-2015 inquiry by the UK House of Lords into the EU’s regulatory response to the financial crisis, and as an Expert Witness for UK Parliament Select Committee Inquiries on financial market regulation and Brexit-related matters and for the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee.

Niamh holds degrees from Harvard Law School and Trinity College Dublin.

Niamh was appointed to the Commission on 11 September 2018 for a five year term.

John Trethowan is a career banker with over 40 years of experience. He is currently the State appointed Credit Reviewer which assists viable SMEs and farms get access to credit from banks. John is a Fellow of the Institute of Banking, and was its President in 2006. He has served in various financial institutions at all levels, including at both executive and non-executive board roles.

John has an MBA from the University of Ulster Business School, and has extensive board experience. He currently is a member of the EirGrid plc board, and chairs its Audit Committee. John has previously served on boards in the public, private, and voluntary sectors including financial services, public transport, health & social care, and in various business related charities.

John was appointed to the Commission on 11 September 2018 for a five year term
 
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Brendan Burgess

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These are really great appointments which will really shake up the Central Bank from its slumber.


I hope that their membership of the Commission won't prevent them from continuing with their loud, public and persistent campaigning on issues relating to tracker mortgages and the very high mortgage rates being charged in Ireland.

Brendan
 
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Jimmy Dee

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IMHO it should be non Irish person preferably with experience of a more open and equitable market, either the UK or even better the US. Appointing anyone from within Ireland will not open anyones' eyes to the restrictions on "investors" / consumers here.
 
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