Please see my previous blog post in which I make further points about this latest update in Village.
Villager September-October ’12 including threats to whistleblower, SugarmanVillage, Sep 11th, 2012 | By admin | Category: NEWS
Jonathan Sugarman, a former Risk Manager, blew the whistle on his then employer Unicredit Bank, Italy’s biggest, which in 2007 failed dramatically to maintain proper liquidity ratios – which keep banks from customer runs on their funds. Village was the first to name Unicredit, despite threats from McCann FitzGerald solicitors that Unicredit would sue if implicated. Subsequently the Central Bank Financial Regulator’s Department, announced that it would consider any information offered about the affair “in confidence” but when Sugarman contacted them they revealed that in fact they reserved the right to report him to the Gardai for criminal activity if he offered the Central Bank information that implicated him. In the end – in February – Sugarman bravely nevertheless met the Central Bank, which indicated that they had already asked Unicredit to recreate reports dating back to the alleged breaches in 2007 but gave no information as to how their investigations were proceeding. Subsequently the Central Bank indicated, with no reasoning, that it was closing the file – and notably failed to produce minutes. When the Irish Independent’s intrepid Mark Keenan recently started sniffing about the issue, the Central Bank finally sent minutes of the meeting, It is not clear if the file remains closed, or why, and the Central Bank, for the moment is keeping schtum.
Just as a reminder, this is what the Irish Minister of Finance said a year ago about the new legislation introduced to protect whistle blowers in banks:
Central Bank Bill published - The Irish Times, 28 July 2011
New legislation that enhances the Central Bank's regulatory powers and provides protection for whistleblowers was published today.
The Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Bill 2011 strengthens the ability of authorities to impose and supervise compliance with regulatory requirements and to undertake interventions when necessary.
The publication of the Bill is a further requirement under the EU-IMF programme of support for Ireland.
Announcing the publication of the Bill this morning, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said the legislation was a response to the regulatory failures which led to the recent financial crisis.
"The publication of the Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Bill 2011 represents a significant further step in the reform of financial regulation in Ireland. The changes introduced by the Bill will underpin an assertive, risk-based model of regulation supported by a credible threat of enforcement," said Mr Noonan.
Among the provisions included in the Bill is protection from civil liability and victimisation for so-called whistleblowers and a requirement for financial service providers to provide independently prepared reports to the Central Bank for diagnostic, monitoring and compliance purposes.
The power to issue regulatory interventions is included in the new legislation as is the ability to fine or suspend financial services providers where necessary.