Former Central Bank governor ‘not aware’ of guarantee request by banks

John Hurley clarifies evidence to Oireachtas banking inquiry with written statement

Former Central Bank governor John Hurley: I am not aware of any such request made to any other officers to the Central Bank or financial regulator.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

Former Central Bank governor John Hurley: I am not aware of any such request made to any other officers to the Central Bank or financial regulator.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

 

Former Central Bank governor John Hurley has told the Oireachtas banking inquiry he does not recall any financial institution expressing a preference for a full guarantee before the government made this decision on the night of September 29th, 2008.

“I am not aware of any such request made to any other officers to the Central Bank or financial regulator,” Mr Hurley said in a written statement sent to the committee to clarify his oral evidence from May.

In his previous evidence, Mr Hurley had said it was possible, in the course of meetings with banks on liquidity matters after the problems of British bank Northern Rock, that guarantees could have been mentioned by a financial institution.

“But I have no specific recollection of a broad guarantee being raised at that time,” Mr Hurley said in his statement, which was published by the committee yesterday.

Separately, Dermot McCarthy, secretary general to the government at the time of the financial crash, told the inquiry his recollection of a meeting on September 24th, 2008, attended by taoiseach Brian Cowen, minister for finance Brian Lenihan, the financial regulator, the National Treasury Management Agency and professional advisers was that a guarantee was “indicated” as an option to be considered in the event that there was no easing in the liquidity pressures on Irish banks.

“I do not recall that the details of such a guarantee, if it were to be recommended, were discussed,” he said, adding that no decisions had been taken at the briefing.