Group advises 20-year scope for banking inquiry

Disagreement on the cross-party committee on the scope and time frame of the inquiry

Economist Colm McCarthy: is among the members of the expert group that presented an initial report suggesting a framework for a 14-month investigation into the €64 billion bailout.

Economist Colm McCarthy: is among the members of the expert group that presented an initial report suggesting a framework for a 14-month investigation into the €64 billion bailout.

Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 01:00

The banking inquiry’s advisory group has recommended the investigation should look back over the past 20 years to discover the origins of Ireland’s economic crash.

Economist Colm McCarthy is among the members of the expert group that presented an initial report suggesting a framework for a 14-month investigation into the €64 billion bailout to the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry committee yesterday.

The report said the inquiry should look back to the mid-1990s to discover the origins of the crash, issues relating to the “build-up and night of the bank guarantee” along with the “role and influence of international organisations”.

There has been disagreement on the cross-party committee chaired by Labour’s Ciarán Lynch about the scope and time frame of the inquiry.

“The group has discussed a broad scope for the inquiry, for example reflecting the fact that a number of issues arising in the banking system go back to before the early 2000s and in fact it may be necessary to look back to the mid-1990s to uncover answers to some of the questions,” the report said.

The report recommended splitting the investigation into three modules with public hearings beginning on April 13th, 2015 and continuing until at least July 17th. A final report would be published in November 2015.

Communicating risks

Under the first “banking system” module, issues relating to the role of external auditors in communicating risks to management and to the Financial Regulator could be explored.

The second module, looking at regulatory and supervisory systems, would analyse the role of the Department of Finance and the Oireachtas, plus the “property-state nexus” and its impact on the property market.

The final module, on crisis management systems and policy responses, would examine the role of international agencies such as the ECB “including payments to bondholders”.

The advisory group report suggested the inquiry would need to distinguish itself from other reports into Ireland’s financial crisis, including those popularly known as Nyberg, Regling-Watson and Honohan.

“A guiding principle will be the need to identify gaps in existing knowledge (including public knowledge) and to prioritise issues which have not been covered by previous reports.”

The group has met four times and will meet again on September 9th.