Connaughton quizzes Elderfield on regulation issues



East Galway T.D. Paul Connaughton was the lead questioner at last Thursday’s meeting of the Public Accounts Committee at which outgoing Financial Regulator Matthew Elderfield was questioned by members of the Committee.
At the meeting, Deputy Connaughton asked Mr. Elderfield if he is concerned that Ireland is now stepping back towards a world of light-touch banking regulation, following recent interventions in public discourse on the subject by John Bruton, Michael Somers and others.
‘Some public commentators are now suggesting that Ireland is over-regulated and I asked Mr. Elderfield about his views in this area, if he is concerned about this matter or if this is something that he will discuss with the incoming regulator.
‘I firmly believe that given the disastrous banking crash of recent years, we cannot revert to a world of light-touch regulation, which in part led us blindly into a situation where members of the public were totally unaware of the true financial state of the country’s banks, which in turn led to an overly optimistic view of the banks’ core economic health and thus led to a hugely inflated share price.
‘I believe that Mr. Elderfield held firm during his tenure as Financial Regulator and resisted all efforts to diminish oversight of the banks and I sincerely hope that his successor has similar views and a similar willingness to stand up to big business interests and uphold the system of financial regulation.’