Central Bank deputy governor Ed Sibley poised to join EY

Sibley will leave at end of August to take up role with EY Ireland’s financial services unit

Central Bank of Ireland deputy governor Ed Sibley is planning to join EY Ireland's financial services unit later this year after a decade with the regulatory authority, according to sources.

The bank said on Monday that Mr Sibley, who became one of the organisation's two deputy governors in 2017, would be leaving at the end of August to pursue opportunities in the Irish private sector.

It added that he would step away from frontline regulatory and supervisory responsibilities, with interim arrangements set to be announced “in due course”. The Irish Times has learned that Mr Sibley plans to join EY, a Big Four accounting firm.

Mr Sibley grew up near Southampton in England and worked for the Financial Services Authority in the UK. He also held a number of roles with both Bank of Ireland and PwC before joining the Central Bank in 2012.

He was previously head of the supervisory section of banking supervision and director of credit institutions supervision before becoming deputy governor in 2017 in charge of prudential regulation.

The Central Bank, EY and Mr Sibley all declined to comment on Friday evening.

Financial crisis

Mr Sibley was among a number of senior outside figures who joined the Central Bank in the wake of the financial crisis as the regulator sought to repair its reputation.

One of the government-commissioned reports into the financial crisis, written by Finnish academic and finance expert Peter Nyberg, concluded in 2011 that the regulatory authorities during the boom – comprised of the then-separate institutions of the Central Bank and the Financial Regulator – were aware that banks were engaging in risky behaviour ahead of the recession but did little to stop it.

While there have been suggestions from some quarters of the financial sector that the regulatory pendulum has swung too far in the other direction since the crash, Mr Sibley has consistently pushed back against this notion.

In a speech in 2017 he said: “My own view is that given the scale of the financial crisis, radical and far-reaching reform has been required, but not everything has been calibrated perfectly and further evolution is required. In the same way that the financial system as a whole and its component parts continues to change, so the regulatory regime needs to adapt and evolve. However, significant easing should be resisted.”

Two years later he told a Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) conference that bankers were beginning to display echoes of pre-crisis hubris, as pressure mounts on regulators to ease back on checks and controls introduced in the past decade to prevent another financial crash.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times