Elderfield criticises ‘spectacular failures of corporate governance’

By Simon Carswell, for The Irish Times, May 11, 1010

There were “spectacular failures of corporate governance” not just in banking but in insurance at home and abroad, according to the head of financial regulation at the Central Bank, Matthew Elderfield.

At the annual lunch of the Irish Insurance Federation yesterday, Mr Elderfield said tougher rules would help to restore the reputation of the State’s financial services.

“Ireland’s reputation as an international financial centre will be even stronger if it can knock on the head the lingering perception that corporate governance is sometimes compromised by concentrated personal business relationships,” he said.

Mr Elderfield has proposed limiting the number of directorships that may be held by board members of banks and insurers and also preventing chief executives from becoming chairs.

These proposals would not only prevent future problems but would provide “tangible, robust and indeed enforceable standards that will stand up to international scrutiny and deny the sceptics of the Irish success story an all too easy line of attack”….(continue reading)

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