I propose to take Questions Nos. 95 and 113 together.
As there are a number of inquiries and investigations on-going into matters at the former Anglo Irish Bank, I am restricted in what I can say in relation to the recently disclosed activities at the former bank. I have already said that I found the taped conversations appalling. The Government is determined to find out exactly what happened and we propose to establish an inquiry to do exactly that. I have noted that the Governor of the Central Bank has also indicated that the Central Bank is examining the scope for action against those involved in the recently released tapes.
On the question of regulatory reforms, the Central Bank Reform Act 2010 was a crucial first step in the introduction of a new fully-integrated single structure within the Central Bank. It provided a statutory basis for a comprehensive domestic regulatory framework for financial services and set out new powers for the Central Bank to ensure the fitness and probity of nominees to key positions within financial service providers.
The Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Bill 2011, which is being considered at Report stage in the Seanad, further strengthens the ability of the Central Bank to impose and supervise compliance with regulatory requirements and to undertake timely prudential interventions. The reforms being brought in under the Bill are complemented by a number of strategically important reforms at EU level in financial services. Agreement has been reached on the single supervisory mechanism, one of the main cornerstones of Banking Union, which will provide for the European Central Bank to act as supervisor for systemic important banks throughout the Union. Agreement has also been reached on the Capital Requirements package which will ensure that European banks hold enough good quality capital to withstand future economic and financial shocks. Member States have also agreed in principle the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation and Directive.
In terms of promoting good corporate governance, I would also point to the Central Bank’s 2011 Corporate Governance Code for Credit Institutions and Insurance Undertakings which imposes minimum core standards upon all credit institutions and insurance undertakings licensed or authorised by the Central Bank.