herald

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Financial crisis was caused by greed says bank chief

SPEECH: Cyril Roux
SPEECH: Cyril Roux

"Greed, disregard for risk" and "gross mismanagement" helped cause the banking crisis, according to the new deputy head of the Central Bank.

In his first public address since being appointed the deputy governor of the Central Bank, Cyril Roux questioned whether an ever-increasing amount of rules and directives is the best way to regulate the banking industry, or if there needs to be a switch to a so-called principles-based framework.

 

DAMAGING

In a hard-hitting speech, he hinted at a shift in focus for regulators, away from a focus on what banks do and instead focusing on bankers themselves.

He said: "Few would dispute that some of the most galling failures have had very little to do with capital requirements and everything to do with greed coupled with disregard for the risks, or gross misjudgment about them."

The focus of banking regulation tends to be on guarding against the risk of damaging bank runs, he said.

In contrast, supervision of the securities industry – including bond and share dealing – grew out of the need to protect investors, he said.

 

REGULATION

Mr Roux was speaking at a conference on regulation held by the Central Bank in Dublin yesterday.

Five years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the start of the financial crisis, he asked whether "we have fully seized the opportunity" of the crisis to tackle the issue of how best to regulate the sector.

Financial regulation is ultimately a product of the political process, he said.

Figuring out how best to resolve the "conundrums" involved will be achieved through democratic dialogue.

French-born Mr Roux replaces Matthew Elderfield who left the bank in the summer to work for Lloyds Bank in London.

hnews@herald.ie

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