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29 January 2010 - Appointment of Independent Expert to conduct a preliminary investigation into the Banking Crisis

The Minister for Finance, Mr. Brian Lenihan T.D., today announced the appointment of Mr. Klaus Regling to conduct one of the preliminary investigations into the crisis in our banking system. Mr Regling has said he intends to begin his work shortly. He will have the assistance of another expert in his work.

The Minister said: “I welcome Mr. Klaus Regling’s agreement to conduct the preliminary investigation into the origins of the crisis in our banking system. I am confident Mr. Regling’s extensive experience of senior economic and financial positions in the German Ministry of Finance and the European Union will ensure a robust preliminary report that identifies the key causes of the crisis and provides a firm basis for the work of the statutory Commission of Inquiry. His experience of senior economic positions will be particularly important in analysing the international, social and macro-economic policy environment in which the banking crisis developed.

Mr. Regling’s report, which in tandem with the report from Governor Honohan, will set the framework for an efficient and hard hitting inquiry.

It is in the interest of this country that we get to the real causes of the financial crisis. It will ensure that the future regulation of our financial system and the management of our economy will secure sustainable economic growth. As a country it is important that we move beyond the catch cries of the crisis to a real analysis of what went wrong.”

The Minister said Mr. Regling’s appointment follows discussions over the past week. Mr Lenihan has agreed to Mr Regling’s request that an assistant be appointed to help him complete his work within the timeframe set out by the Government. Mr Regling’s work experience includes long experience as an economist in senior positions throughout the public and the private sector in Europe, Asia and the United States.

He is currently chairman of KR Economics, an economic and financial consultancy in Brussels.

Mr. Regling is a member of the Issing Commission, appointed by Chancellor Merkel in 2008 to advise the German Government on the reform of financial regulation. The Committee completed its work in March 2009.

From 2001 to 2008 he was Director General for Economic and Financial Affairs of the European Commission.

Before that, he was a Director General in the German Ministry of Finance where he worked for more than a decade on Economic and Monetary Union in Europe. He also worked in the International Monetary Fund for more than a decade.

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