The Central Bank of Ireland (“Central Bank”) has concluded its first public settlement, under the administrative sanctions regime, with an individual. A copy of the settlement agreement can be found here.

Dr Michael Walsh, former non-executive Chairman of the Irish Nationwide Building Society (“INBS”) has admitted his participating as a non-executive director as certain prescribed contraventions of financial services law by INBS during the period from 1 August 2004 to 30 September 2008. The prescribed contraventions related to the management of commercial loans and credit risk.

Dr Walsh has agreed to a three year disqualification from managing any regulated financial services provider and a €20,000 fine, as part of the settlement. The Central Bank indicated that it took the following factors into account in reaching the settlement.

  • Dr Walsh’s participation, as non-executive Chairman of INBS, in INBS’s failure to properly manage its commercial lending and credit risk management in according with internal policies.
  • The period of time during which Dr Walsh participated in the prescribed contraventions.
  • The degree to which his participation departed from the standards expected by the Central Bank of non-executive directors in ensuring the implementation of, and compliance with, management systems and internal controls.
  • The need for an effective deterrent impact on other Regulated Financial Service Providers and persons concerned in the management of same, including in particular non-executive directors.

Comment

This is the first time that the Central Bank has publicly imposed sanctions on an individual.