By any standard, the mismanagement of Ireland's banks was outrageous, but the repercussions for individual bankers have been relatively scant.
PFM & Taxation
Some have departed with comfortable pensions, and others have also moved on to work abroad or elsewhere in the financial sector. But of all of the players in the country's economic and banking crash - banks, regulators, politicians and civil servants and, indeed, the public - it is bankers, top and middle management, which have escaped relatively scot-free.
In a report last week, the Law Reform Commission concluded that Ireland should not introduce a criminal offence of mismanagement of a financial institution, a conclusion which ignores the advice of Patrick Honohan, the former governor of the Central Bank who was appointed to steer the country through the crisis from to In this newspaper today, the economist Colm McCarthy also makes a convincing case for the introduction of criminal offences in relation to mismanagement of the banks. A recent report by the Central Bank has also made troubling findings in relation to the ongoing behaviour and culture of the banks.
Among these are that several executive committees display "firefighting behaviour", focussing on short-term issues which hamper capacity to design a long-term cultural transformation process; some banks also continue to display the remnants of the crisis-era mindset resulting in occasional reversal to 'command and control' leadership styles when emphasis should be on collaborative approaches; there is also a need to increase the powers and decision-making ability of senior staff, and further concerns around over-optimism regarding the successful transition to a consumer-focused culture.
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Clearly, there is much more work to be done. These issues should be satisfactorily resolved before a decision is taken on bankers' pay cap.
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