Patrick Neary says golf balls with regulator logo were a ‘mistake’

Ex-financial regulator says golf balls were discontinued as soon as he became aware of them

Patrick Neary, who was chief executive of the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority, told the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry on Thursday afternoon that when he became aware of the promotional materials they were discontinued. Photograph: Getty Images.

Patrick Neary, who was chief executive of the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority, told the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry on Thursday afternoon that when he became aware of the promotional materials they were discontinued. Photograph: Getty Images.

 

The former financial regulator has said the production of golf balls featuring the logo of the financial regulator was a “mistake”.

Patrick Neary, who was chief executive of the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority, told the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry on Thursday afternoon that when he became aware of the promotional materials they were discontinued.

“It was a mistake. There was a very small number of them produced and it was discontinued quickly,” he said.

“When it was unearthed it was discontinued. I regret that. It shouldn’t have happened.”

He was responding to a question from Labour Senator Susan O’Keeffe, who asked him about what he described as the “famous” golf balls with the financial regulator’s logo.

Ms O’Keeffe accused Mr Neary of putting forward a positive view of how the regulator had acted in the lead up to the financial crisis.

Mr Neary said he wanted to put forward an alternative view of the regulator to what had been heard at the committee to date.

However, he admitted the system and approach to supervision they tried to follow “was not the right one”.

He said it was the same system that was used in other European countries and it got a “ringing endorsement” from “objective” agencies like the IMF and the OECD.