The Central Bank has announced that Matthew Elderfield, the deputy governor of the CBI and the Financial Regulator has resigned his €340,000 a year post at the bank, and will be returning to the UK in six months “to pursue other interests”.
Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan says “Although it was always evident to me that we were very likely to have Matthew with us for only a few years, it is sad that this period is now drawing to a close.”
Matthew joined the CBI in January 2010, four months after Professor Honohan had been appointed. Governor Honohan pays tribute to him in general terms this morning. Though more efficient and competent than his predecessors, the view of him on here was never great and circulating glowering photos was not a substitute for the serious remedial work needed in Ireland’s banking sector. Matthew’s stress testing of the banks in 2010 were comical, and it was not until 2011 when an independent stress testing by BlackRock, Barclays Capital and Boston Consulting was carried out under the auspices of the bailout Troika that the markets had any real confidence in what lurked beneath the balance sheets of Ireland’s covered banks. Whilst Matthew did champion new rules to ensure senior roles at Irish banks were occupied by those untainted by the crisis, we still have the gung-ho Richie Boucher at the helm in Bank of Ireland and we have been reminded in recent days how Ritchie supported Sean Dunne and the ultimately disastrous development in Ballsbridge.
The statement this morning says “Mr Elderfield has advised the Commission of the Central Bank that he has waived his €100,000 bonus entitlement at the end of his contract of employment.” And indeed there has been a running theme on here about Matthew and his €340,000 salary being 40% higher than his boss’s Governor Honohan who is now down to €230,000.
There will hopefully be some insider information on here later today regarding the resignation. We can only pray that Matthew’s replacement is not some career servant of the ilk that contributed to the banking collapse in 2008.
UPDATE: 9th April, 2013. Crikey, there does seem to be some worry that Matthew’s resignation betokens some instability or unrevealed bad news in the Irish banking system. Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has issued a statement to pour further oil on what could become troubled waters and he says Matthew ” is leaving at a time when normality is returning to the financial system and the Central Bank is suitably prepared to deal with his departure in six months time” So, nothing to see here, and especially no instability or anything that might give you cause to worry about any aspect of the Irish banking sector.