Muslim Community Lobby Ireland is an independent organization established 1st May 2007. Its motto is TO USE THE VOTE RIGHTLY AND TO RAISE THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY AWARNESS WITH THEIR RIGHTS AND TO PROMOTE TOLERANCE AND UNDERSTANDING OF OTHER EXISTING GROUPS. لترشيد استعمال الصوت الانتخابي ولتوعية وتعريف المسلمين بحقوقهم في ايرلندا وان يعيشوا بتفهم للواقع وللجماعات الاخرى الموجودة على الساحة

Thursday, October 7, 2010

McCreevy resigns from bank board after ruling

FORMER EUROPEAN commissioner Charlie McCreevy has resigned from the board of a new banking firm after an EU ethics committee found a conflict of interest with his work as commissioner in charge of financial regulation.

Mr McCreevy stepped down from the board of NBNK Investments on Wednesday night on foot of a negative opinion from the committee, which was established by the commission to assess his employment by the firm.

This is first time that a former member of the EU executive has had to resign a directorship since it introduced the current system for overseeing the work of retired commissioners in 2003.

NBNK Investments was set up during the summer by former Lloyds chairman Lord Levine to pursue acquisition opportunities in the British banking sector. As institutions seek to recover from the financial crash, some large players are selling assets to comply with EU competition rulings.

ARTHUR BEESLEY European Correspondent

According to its website, NBNK’s proposition is to build primarily through acquisition “a new and substantial UK bank”. As internal markets commissioner, Mr McCreevy was the originator of new legislation to set up a new pan-European system of financial regulation.

NBNK took a £50 million (€57.86 million) stock market listing on the Alternative Investment Market in London in August with funding from investors including Aviva, FC Management, Invesco and Och-Ziff Capital Management.

Amid criticism of Mr McCreevy’s directorship earlier this week, the company said the former internal markets commissioner would have a “less substantial” board role until the first anniversary of his retirement from the Commission in February. It also said he would not receive directors’ fees in that period.

A spokesman for NBNK Investments acknowledged Mr McCreevy’s departure and said he was not in a position to ask the former commissioner whether he had any comment on the committee’s ruling.

In a statement, the company said Mr McCreevy resigned from the board with immediate effect to fully comply with his obligations as a former member of the commission.

When Mr McCreevy was approached initially to join the board of NBNK Investments, he notified the commission’s authorities “as required”, the statement said.

“Following a dialogue with the European Commission, it has not been possible to find a way in which Mr McCreevy can continue with his directorship of NBNK in a manner compatible with his standard responsibilities as a former European commissioner.”

The statement went on to say that the board respected and understood his position.

Mr McCreevy’s appointment to the company prompted criticism in the European Parliament, where generous “transition” allowances that he and many of his former commission colleagues receive have met with a frosty reception.

Criticising Mr McCreevy’s board role, Labour MEP Nessa Childers had complained that NBNK was “feeding off the financial crisis” fanned by Mr McCreevy’s “light-touch” approach to financial regulation. This “bitter irony”, she said, would not be lost on people who lost their jobs due the financial crisis.

The ethics committee, which reported in recent days, was the second to examine Mr McCreevy’s work since he left the commission.

Last May, another committee cleared his membership of the Ryanair board, but said he could not advise the airline on any case involving its business which came before the EU executive’s internal markets division when he was commissioner.

Mr McCreevy’s remuneration from Ryanair would be deducted from his €11,150 per month “transition allowance”. He also receives an annual ministerial pension of €74,746 and a €52,213 pension for having served as a TD.