The Oireachtas Banking Inquiry will hold its first public meetings as part of the inquiry context phase when it meets with Finnish academic and finance expert Peter Nyberg tomorrow Wednesday, December 17th 2014.Mr Nyberg wrote the report of the Commission of Investigation into the Banking Sector, Misjudging Risk: Causes of the Systemic Banking Crisis in Ireland.
On 18th December, Rob Wright, the former Canadian Secretary General of Finance author of the report Strengthening the Capacity of the Department of Finance, will appear before the Committee.
Chairman Ciaran Lynch TD: “We are pleased that the Inquiry is on schedule and is now in full operational mode and that the first of the public hearings will begin tomorrow when we meet with Peter Nyberg. On Thursday, we will hear from Rob Wright. It’s an opportunity to review their findings and recommendations and also to see what has changed since those reports were published.
“There have been a number of reports into the crisis and much has been written about it, but gaps remain in our knowledge of that time. We do not have a full picture of the events leading up to, during, and after the crisis. Many questions remain unanswered. Without the knowledge that answers to these questions will provide, we cannot protect ourselves against a repetition of the crisis. This means that those who can answer those questions must come before this committee to give a first-hand account of their stewardship.
“The Committee has received correspondence from the European Central Bank indicating that it will not be appearing before the Committee as we had requested in the Context Phase. While the ECB is outside the Irish jurisdiction and beyond the Committee’s powers of compellability, the Committee does have the expectation that it will assist us in our work. The response is disappointing and I will be writing to the ECB to ask it to review its decision. However, I have always said that this is not about individuals or personalities but about the information that the ECB would make available to the Committee to assist us in our work. We still anticipate that the ECB will assist the Committee in providing any information we may request.
“Tomorrow, we will be starting our public hearings on schedule. This reflects the co-operative and positive approach that the Committee has adopted in how we set about our work. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the Committee members for their hard work and commitment in getting to this stage.
“We are at the beginning of a journey of work which I believe is an opportunity to demonstrate that the Irish parliament can hold a fair and balanced inquiry to find answers to many key questions that remain to be answered about the banking crisis.”
Committee proceedings can be followed live on a new dedicated website: www.oireachtas.ie/bankinginquiry/
Among the key tools the website will feature are:
• Live webcasting of proceedings
• Where possible, the Committee will publish all relevant evidence discussed during public hearings
• During the public hearings, the transcripts of each day’s hearing will be made available on the website on the same day.
• Regular press releases
• Inquiry schedule calendar
• Background information on the establishment of the inquiry, members and FAQs.
Deputy Lynch said: “A key element is that the inquiry should be conducted in an open and transparent manner. I think that it is necessary that this parliamentary inquiry is communicated as widely as possible using the many public information services available to us, such as the dedicated website, as well as through social media, webcasting and Oireachtas TV. The website will act as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for the inquiry, providing up-to-date and detailed information, as well as webcasts, transcripts and relevant documentation.”
All media enquiries in relation to the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry should be addressed to:
Houses of the Oireachtas,
P: +3531 618 3903
F: +3531 618 4551
Ciarán Lynch (Chairman)
John Paul Phelan
Sean D Barrett