Department of Finance banking specialist resigns
Another member of the Department of Finance banking unit has resigned, days after it was announced that Michael Torpey, the head of the shareholder unit, was leaving to join Bank of Ireland.
David Connolly, a specialist in the restructuring and deleveraging unit, resigned on Friday. A spokesman for the Department of Finance said that it was not aware of the reason for his departure or Mr Connolly’s future plans.
Mr Connolly, along with Mr Torpey, were employees of the National Treasury Management Agency and had been seconded to the department when it took over responsibility for managing the State’s interest in the banking sector.
Employees of the NTMA are not subject to the restrictions that apply to senior civil servants leaving to take up posts in industry.
Mr Torpey’s departure from the unit was the most high-profile departure. In July last year Danny Buckley – who dealt with Anglo Irish Bank – left to join Bank of Ireland’s group finance department. His departure followed that of Enda Johnson who left to join State-controlled AIB in May. Mr Johnson was subsequently appointed to the role of head of corporate affairs and strategy on the bank’s new management team.
Keith Robinson, legal adviser on the NTMA’s banking team, left in 2011 to move into the private sector. John Moran, the former head of the unit was appointed secretary general of the department just under a year ago. Mr Torpey is taking up the role of chief executive of the corporate and treasury division. Minister for Finance Michael Noonan welcomed Mr Torpey’s move and said it was in keeping with Government policy.
He was questioned in the Dáil last Thursday by Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty. Mr Doherty pointed out that the recent sale by the Government of €1 billion worth of contingent capital notes in Bank of Ireland was handled by the shareholder management unit headed by Mr Torpey.
The Minister said there was no conflict of interest. “On the issue of the official to which deputy Pearse Doherty referred, he [Mr Torpey] went on holidays to Australia on December 14th and did not return until last week. In accordance with normal practice, he will not take up duty in the bank for another two months . . . there is no conflict of interest in the way this was operated,” he said.