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Banking Inquiry to hear from Alan Gray, Alan Ahearne, Denis O’Connor & Tom Browne


The Oireachtas Banking Inquiry will continue public hearings tomorrow, Wednesday, 9th September when it will meet with Alan Gray, Alan Ahearne, Denis O’Connor, Dennis O’Connor & Tom Browne.

The schedule for tomorrow is:

Session A: 9.30 a.m.
Denis O’Connor, Partner – Advisory Services, PWC and Aidan Walsh, Partner – Advisory Services, PWC;

Session B: 11.30 a.m.
Alan Ahearne, former Special Advisor to the late Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan T.D.;

Session C: 2.30 p.m.
Alan Gray, former board member, Central Bank of Ireland; and

Session D: 4.30 p.m.
Tom Browne, former Director, Anglo Irish Bank

Chairman Ciaran Lynch TD said: “At our first session tomorrow morning we will hear from Denis O’Connor and Aidan Walsh who are Partners in Price Waterhouse Coopers. Both Mr O’Connor and Mr Walsh were key figures in the preparation of the PWC Atlas reports and reviews on Irish financial institutions for IFSRA. Both men will be questioned on the role of advisors in analysing the crisis, including crisis management options and the effectiveness of reviews of banks’ loan books and capital adequacy.

“We continue our hearings tomorrow morning with Alan Ahearne, former Special Advisor to the late Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan TD. Alan Ahearne is Professor and Head of Economics at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He was Special Advisor to the late Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan from March 2009 to March 2011. He advised the Minister on economic, budgetary and financial policy in responding to the economic and financial crisis and played an advisory role in relation to the National Recovery Plan and the creation of the National Asset Management Agency.

“Mr Ahearne will be asked to give evidence on a number of lines of inquiry, including: the decision to nationalise Anglo in 2009 and a review of the alternatives available and/or considered; the establishment, operation and effectiveness of National Asset Management Agency; the decision to recapitalise Anglo, AIB, Bank of Ireland, EBS, Permanent TSB and the alternatives available and/or considered; the Credit Institutions Stabilisation Act (2010) and the effectiveness of the actions to merge AIB and EBS, Anglo and INBS and deposit transfers; and the cost of the crisis and sharing of the impact.

“Other lines of inquiry include: the EU/IMF)/ECB programme of assistance; Basel III (CRD IV) and the impact on capital and liquidity of Irish banks; Banking Union; the Fiscal Compact Treaty, Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism; the role and influence of the ECB; options for burden sharing during the period 2008-2013; the role of the euro zone and international partners in this decision; the appropriateness of the expert advice sought, quality of analysis of the advice and how effectively this advice was used; the appropriateness of the advice from the Department of Finance to Government and the use thereof by Government; and the appropriateness of the relationships between Government, the Oireachtas, the banking sector and the property sector.

“Our first hearing tomorrow afternoon is with Alan Gray, former non-executive Director, Central Bank of Ireland. Alan Gray has worked as an economist for over 30 years in Ireland, Europe and in Canada. He was a non-executive director of the CBFSAI (Central Bank) from December 2006 to September 2008 and was recently has been appointed by the Government as a Director of the IDA. He is managing Partner of Indecon International Economic Consultants.

“Lines of inquiry to be addressed with Mr Gray include: the effectiveness and appropriateness of the supervision policy and powers; the appropriateness of the macro-economic and prudential policy; the composition, skills, experience and number of resources at the Central Bank, Financial Regulator and Department of Finance; the effectiveness of the use of supervisory powers; the nature and effectiveness of the operational implementation of the macro-economic and prudential policy; and the adequacy of the assessment and communication of both solvency and liquidity risks in the banking institutions and sector.

“Other areas of interest include: the awareness and clarity of roles and accountability amongst the regulatory and supervisory institutions of the state; the nature and appropriateness of the relationship between the Central Bank including the Financial Regulator, the Department of Finance and the banking institutions; the effectiveness of the communication between the Central Bank and the Department of Finance; an analysis and consideration of the response to contrarian views, both internal and external; the role of advisors in analysing the crisis, including crisis management options; the liquidity versus solvency debate; and the appropriateness of the bank guarantee decision.

“Our final hearing this afternoon is with Tom Browne, former Director of Anglo Irish Bank. Tom Browne was a director of Anglo from 2004 to November 2007. He joined Anglo in 1990 and was a member of the Dublin lending division from 1990 to 2000. Between 2000 and 2007 he held several senior executive positions in the bank including Head of Wealth Management and Managing Director of Lending Ireland. He retired from Anglo in Nov 2007 and stepped down from the board at the same time.

“Mr Browne has been asked to give evidence on: the appropriateness of credit policies, delegated authorities and exception management; the adequacy of the valuation policies and assumptions to accurately assess loan security; the independence of the professional advisors in valuing property assets; the adequacy of internal controls over perfection of security and policy exceptions; the adequacy of the incentive and remuneration arrangements to promote sound risk governance; the effectiveness of internal audit oversight and communication of issues related to governance, property-related lending strategies and risks, and funding and liquidity risks; the liquidity versus solvency debate; and the appropriateness of the bank guarantee decision.”

Further information on the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry can be accessed on this de website. Full committee proceedings will be webcast live on this website while Oireachtas TV will broadcast proceedings from 9.30am.

Committee proceedings can also be viewed on the move, through the Houses of the Oireachtas Smartphone App, available for Apple and Android devices.

All media enquiries in relation to the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry should be addressed to:

Ciaran Brennan,
Houses of the Oireachtas,
Communications Unit,
Leinster House,
Dublin 2

P: +3531 618 3903
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All general enquiries should be directed to the Committee Secretariat.

t. +353 1 618 3651

Committee Membership


Ciarán Lynch (Chairman)
Pearse Doherty
Joe Higgins
Michael McGrath
Eoghan Murphy
Kieran O’Donnell
John Paul Phelan


Sean D Barrett
Michael D’Arcy
Marc MacSharry
Susan O’Keeffe