Central Bank budget of €475m approved by oversight body

Budget for regulator represents 4% increase on previous year

The Central Bank buildings in the North Wall area of Dublin’s docklands. Photograph: Alan Betson

The Central Bank buildings in the North Wall area of Dublin’s docklands. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

The Central Bank of Ireland’s oversight body has approved its budget for this year which includes €350 million in operating costs. But the governor, Gabriel Makhlouf, said it plans to undertake a full review of major costs in the organisation.

According to minutes of the Central Bank commission meeting of December 9th, it approved proposals for this year’s budget, which includes €103 million in investment and €22 million in contingency costs. All told, it involves a 4 per cent increase on the previous year.

Costs

Mr Makhlouf said there is a need to continue to focus on costs in the organisation. Some governance changes will be introduced around approval levels for spending on consultants, he said, adding that it is planned to undertake a full review of major costs drivers “so that clarity would be brought to costs and the mandatory or discretionary nature” of those costs.

This will take place in conjunction with a mid-term review of the bank’s strategy during 2020.

The minutes, published on Tuesday, detail meetings of the Central Bank Commission, a body established after the financial crisis to ensure that the bank’s statutory functions are properly discharged. It consists of the governor, two deputy governors, the secretary general of the Department of Finance, and six members appointed by the Minister for Finance.

Credit union

Also discussed at the meeting were challenges facing the credit union sector. The bank’s registrar of credit unions, Patrick Casey, noted how credit union balance sheets were “under-lent, with reduced credit demand and the emergence of competitive challenges since the crisis”.

Restructuring in the sector has continued apace with 17 transfers of engagement completed in 2019.

Meanwhile, more than 63,000 members of credit unions received financial redress totalling €2.8 million, or about €44 each, in relation to “improper deductions from their savings accounts without consent for death in benefit insurance premiums”.