Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Ceisteanna (111)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

111. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Finance the banks in which he or the State has a share holding; the role of public interest directors who can be appointed by him in respect of the banks; the details of the public interest directors on the boards of each of these banks; the date the last public interest director was a member of the board; the names of the directors; the date they completed their term; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11865/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

As the Deputy will be aware, in 2016 the Government announced it would cease the appointment of new public interest directors, PIDS, in the banks in which the State holds a shareholding and reform the process by which State nominees were appointed to the board of the banks.

The date of appointment and date of resignation/cessation of office for each of the public interest directors appointed at AIB, BOI and PTSB are as follows:

Bank

Appointed

Resignation/cessation

Allied Irish Banks

Michael Somers *

January 2010

December 2017

Dick Spring

January 2009

December 2014

Declan Collier

January 2009

June 2012

Bank of Ireland

Tom Considine

January 09

December 2017

Joe Walsh**

January 09

November 2014

Permanent TSB

Margaret Hayes

December 2008

May 2013

Ray McSharry

December 2008

May 2013

* Dr Michael Somers was a Government Nominee (not a Public Interest Director) appointed to the AIB board on 14 January 2010 under the terms of the NPRFC s Preference Share investment of €3.5bn in AIB of May 2009

**Joe Walsh ceased to be a director following his death in November 2014.

Future appointments will be made on foot of my rights as shareholder in each of the banks and not using the powers contained in the Credit Institutions Financial Support (CIFS) Act as was the case with public interest directors. Pursuant to these rights I, as Minister for Finance, can appoint up to two directors to the boards of both AIB and PTSB and one director to the board of Bank of Ireland.

My Department and the Public Appointment Service, PAS, established a transparent process to identify appropriately skilled candidates for nomination to the three banks in which the State holds a shareholding. This includes the establishment of assessment panels to review, assess, interview and compile a list of suitable applicants following which a preferred candidate(s) will be selected by myself, as Minister for Finance. This preferred candidate would then be proposed as the Ministerial nominee to the relevant bank, who in turn will conduct the required governance and submit the candidate for SSM approval in line with their regulatory requirements. The entire process takes over 6 months to conclude.

In 2018 separate processes began in AIB, PTSB and BOI to appoint new state nominated directors under the updated process. In regards to AIB the preferred candidates have been proposed to the bank and are currently undergoing the standard fitness and probity assessments by the regulators. The processes at PTSB and BOI are ongoing.

It is important to note that any company director, regardless of whether or not they are a State nominated director, is subject to the requirements of company law to act in what he or she believes to be the interests of the company to which they are appointed. These are the director’s fiduciary duties which are owed to the company rather than to the appointing shareholder. However under the Companies Act 2014 (as amended) there is a provision allowing a nominee director to have regard to the interests of the appointing shareholder.

I would also note that the new appointment procedure for bank directors needs to have due regard to the distinct differences which exist relative to appointments to State boards. These include the requirements of the SSM ‘Fitness and Probity’ regime and the requirement to have a broad set of expertise relevant to large regulated entities in an ever more complex banking regulatory environment.

Questions Nos. 112 and 113 answered with Question No. 84.