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Govt decides on banking enquiry

Wednesday, April 30 14:19:26

The Government today said it is to set up the long-awaited banking enquiry with Labour backbencher Ciaran Lynch proposed as chairman.

The new probe will be set up under Oireachtas inquiries legislation.

Reports this morning said the membership committee will be less than ten, and it is understood it will be comprised of both TDs and senators.

The move comes following the closure of the case against three former Anglo Irish executives.

Meanwhile, the Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, Patrick Honohan, this morning said the regulator's role in the illegal share-buying scheme devised in 2008 to unwind Sean Quinn's stake in Anglo Irish Bank was a "sorry story".

He was reacting to criticisms aimed at the regulator by Judge Martin Nolan yesterday in relation to the so-called Project Maple deal.

"[There is ] nothing that we would want to disagree with what the judge has said," Mr Honohan said at the launch of the bank's annual report.

Judge Nolan said it seemed "incredible" that "red lights didn't go off somewhere in the regulator's office", in relation to the share scheme.

"This is something that is behind us but of course the financial crisis is not behind us," Mr Honohan said. "It has had a long period of consequences. The regulatory actions that happened in the past are something you wouldn't expect to see today."

He said all of the actions related to a "regulator of the past".

In relation to a proposed banking enquiry to investigate the collapse of the financial sector in 2008, Mr Honohan said it would be a "good idea and a necessary part of the process ...of restoring additional confidence" to the financial system here.