Belfast Telegraph

Economic meltdown 'was homegrown'

The financial watchdog did not have the bottle to bring Anglo Irish Bank to book over risky lending and stop other banks jumping on the bandwagon, a damning report has found.

The inquiry into the cause of the country's banking crisis has found authorities, including the Central Bank, did not understand the dangers of a property boom.

And it found the cause and scale of the 70 billion euro meltdown was homegrown, while worldwide recession has made it worse.

Finnish banking expert Peter Nyberg also shattered claims, put up by former taoiseach Brian Cowen, that the collapse of the US bank Lehman Brothers sparked the Irish crisis.

He said the top bank executives paid little attention to risks they were taking through shockingly large lending and chasing Anglo's growth rates.

The Government said it would hold a referendum later this year to give parliament more power to hold inquiries and demand witnesses answer questions.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said nothing had been done for 10 years "to hold persons, who by reckless greed and whatever else, lack of oversight, went off the rails completely, and the taxpayer has to pay".

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said justice had not only to be done, but to be seen to be done.

"I think it would be proper that those who are personally culpable would be brought before an Oireachtas committee and would answer for what they have done or indeed for their omissions," the minister said.

The 156-page Nyberg report does not name and shame but attacks a herd mentality from 2003-2009 as Anglo - which is costing 30 billion euro to wind down - was lauded by investors, analysts and ratings agencies as the role model for Irish banking.


From Belfast Telegraph