Incoming Central Bank Governor to receive salary of €286,790

Gabriel Makhlouf’s salary will be more than than the chair of the Federal Reserve in US

Gabriel Makhlouf, the incoming Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland. Photograph: Vivek Prakash/Bloomberg

Gabriel Makhlouf, the incoming Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland. Photograph: Vivek Prakash/Bloomberg

 

Incoming Central Bank Governor Gabriel Makhlouf will be paid a salary €286,790 per year, in line with that of his predecessor Philip Lane’s last reported remuneration. Along with his salary Mr Makhlouf will be paid relocation expenses.

According to minutes from a meeting of the Central Bank Commission, Mr Makhlouf’s salary will be subject to revision from January 2020 onwards.

The salary, the committee said, is “consistent with the salary that currently applied to Governor Lane”.

While Mr Makhlouf will earn more than Jerome Powell, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, his salary is lower than some of his euro-zone peers.

Mr Powell’s salary for 2019 is $203,500 (€180,436), as set by US congress. Jens Weidmann, president of Germany’s Bundesbank, received a salary of €381,473.34 last year, according to the bank’s annual report. Italian Central Bank president Ignazio Visco received €450,000 last year.

The European Central Bank president Mario Draghi received a salary of €401,400 last year according to the organisation’s annual report. Former ECB chief economist Peter Praet, who has since been replaced by Philip Lane, received €286,704.

By far the best-paid central banker is Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England. Mr Carney was awarded a salary of £883,911 in 2018 which included a £250,000 accommodation allowance reflecting the expense of living in London rather than Ottowa, the bank’s annual report said.

Mr Makhlouf’s appointment has been the subject of some controversy after it emerged he claimed the accidental leak of sensitive budgetary material in New Zealand, where he was treasury secretary, was a result of a hack.

A follow-up police inquiry found no evidence of a hack, which led to calls from New Zealand’s main opposition party for him to resign from the post. Details of this controversy emerged after his appointment to the Central Bank here.

This week, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said Mr Makhlouf would address the issue prior to taking up his new role here on September 1st but declined to give details of when and where this might take place.

Mr Makhlouf, a former top UK civil servant and one-time principal private secretary to ex-UK chancellor Gordon Brown, was unveiled as the Republic’s 12th Central Bank governor in early May, in succession to Philip Lane, who moved to a role with the ECB.

He will be the first overseas official to fill the post in the Irish regulator’s 76-year history.

An investigation into Mr Makhlouf’s handling of the budget breach found that his actions did not warrant dismissal. Mr Makhlouf apologised over the incident while noting the report had said he had acted in good faith and with political neutrality.

Also at the meeting, acting Governor Sharon Donnery declared a “small shareholding in a financial institution”. While the bank found it to be in compliance with its rules, Ms Donnery said she would arrange to dispose of the shares. “The commission noted the declarations and agreed that these items did not pose a conflict,” the minutes said.

The meeting on May 29th was Philip Lane’s last as governor.