The Central Bank Commission was established by the Central Bank Reform Act 2010 and is reponsible for ensuring that the statutory functions of the Bank are properly discharged. Further information about its role is available here. The Commission comprises the following members (* denotes ex officio members):
Governor of the Central Bank*
The tenth Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, Patrick Honohan, was appointed on 26 September 2009. Before his appointment as Governor, he was Professor of International Financial Economics and Development at Trinity College Dublin from 2007. Prior to this, he spent almost a decade at the World Bank where he was Senior Advisor on financial sector policy.
He was previously Research Professor with the Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin (1990-98), Economic Advisor to Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald (1981-82 and 1984-86) and he spent several years as an economist at the Central Bank of Ireland (1976-81 and 1982-84), and at the International Monetary Fund (1971-73).
A graduate of University College Dublin, he received his Ph.D. in Economics from the London School of Economics in 1978. He has taught Economics at the LSE and at the University of California-San Diego, the Australian National University and University College Dublin, as well as at Trinity College. In recent years, his research has mainly focused on monetary and financial sector policy.
The appointment of the Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland is made by the President for a seven year term.
Deputy Governor (Financial Regulation)*
Matthew Elderfield was appointed to the position of the Deputy Governor (Financial Regulation) in January 2010. Prior to taking up this role, he was Chief Executive of the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) from 2007-2009. Prior to joining the BMA, he spent eight years at the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) as a Head of Department in a variety of posts, responsible for exchange and clearing house supervision, for secondary markets and listing policy and for banking supervision.
Before joining the FSA, Matthew Elderfield established the European operations of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) and held posts at the London Investment Banking Association, the British Bankers Association and a Washington-DC based consultancy firm, the Institute for Strategy Development.
Deputy Governor (Central Banking)*
Stefan Gerlach was appointed Deputy Governor (Central Banking) in September, 2011. Prior to joining the Bank, he served as Professor of Monetary Economics and Managing Director of the Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability at the University of Frankfurt, as CEPR Research Fellow and a Fellow of the CFS.
He has served as Head of Secretariat to the Committee on the Global Financial System at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), as Executive Director (Research) at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and Director of the Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research. Before joining the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, he was a staff economist at the BIS.
Secretary General of the Department of Finance*
John Moran is Secretary General of the Department of Finance. He previously served as a Second Secretary General in the Department of Finance where he was Head of the Banking Division.
Mr. Moran has a range of senior management experience and has previously worked as Head of Wholesale Banking Supervision in the Central Bank of Ireland and as CEO and board member of Zurich Capital Markets.
Members appointed by the Minister for Finance with effect from 1 October 2010:
As provided for in legislation, the terms of office of the first appointees will vary in length in order to ensure that future vacancies on the Commission will be staggered.
Professor John Fitzgerald
Professor John FitzGerald is a Research Professor with the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin working on macro-economic and energy policy. He has published widely in these fields. He is a past President of the Irish Economic Association and of the EUROFRAME group of European economic research institutes. He is a former member of the National Economic and Social Council, of the Northern Ireland Authority for Energy Regulation and of the EU "Group for Economic Analysis" advising the President of the EU Commission.
He studied at University College Dublin and he holds masters degrees in both History and Economics. He began his career in the Department of Finance in 1972 and he moved to the Economic and Social Research Institute in 1984.
Professor Fitzgerald will serve a term of five years.
Mr Michael Soden
Michael Soden was CEO of Bank of Ireland from 2001 to 2004.
Prior to returning to Ireland to take up this post he spent more than 30 years with several major international financial institutions, primarily involved in all aspects of capital markets. In that time he served on the Executive Committee of National Australia Bank with responsibility for Global Wholesale Banking and latterly for Global Retail Banking. He also was responsible for the development of Security Pacific Bank’s international capital markets activities.
He spent the early part of his career with Citibank/Citicorp Investment Bank, Canada. Since his retirement in 2004 he has become a commentator on the international banking crisis. He is the author of ‘Open Dissent – An Uncompromising View of the Crisis’, published in 2010.
Mr. Soden will serve a term of four years.
Mr Des Geraghty
Des Geraghty is a former politician and trade union leader. He was president of SIPTU from 1999 to 2004.
He was appointed to the European Parliament in 1992 for the Dublin constituency. He was a member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and Industrial Policy in the European Parliament. He is a former member of the RTÉ Authority, the Board of FÁS, the National Competitiveness Council, the Affordable Homes Partnership and the National Economic and Social Council and a former Chair of Poetry Ireland.
He has published several books including a memoir of folk singer Luke Kelly.
Mr. Geraghty will serve a term of four years.
Professor Blanaid Clarke
Blanaid holds the McCann Fitzgerald Chair in Corporate Law at Trinity College Dublin. Her research interests include corporate governance, financial services law, securities law and takeover law and she has published extensively in these areas.
Blanaid works with the Irish Takeover Panel and is a member of the European Securities and Markets Authority Takeover Bids Network. She was a founding member of the Institute of Directors’ Centre for Corporate Governance at University College Dublin and a member of the European Commission’s Reflection Group on the Future of EU Company Law.
Professor Clarke will serve a term of three years.
Member appointed by the Minister for Finance with effect from 8 March 2011:
Dr Alan Ahearne
Dr Alan Ahearne lectures in economics in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He was Special Advisor to the Minister for Finance from March 2009 to March 2011. He is a Non-Resident Fellow at Bruegel and is a Research Associate at the Institute for International Integration Studies at Trinity College Dublin.
Before joining NUIG, he was Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, DC. He has taught economics at Carnegie Mellon University, University College Dublin, Dublin City University and the University of Limerick. He began his professional career with Coopers & Lybrand and also worked for Bank of Ireland Group Treasury.
His areas of expertise are macroeconomics and international finance and his research has been published in leading international journals. He holds a Ph.D. (1998) in economics, from Carnegie Mellon University.
Dr. Ahearne will serve a term of four years.
Secretary of the Bank
Mr Neil Whoriskey
Neil Whoriskey is Head of the General Secretariat Division of the Central Bank of Ireland.
Role of the Commission
The Central Bank Commission (the Commission) has the following statutory functions: management and control of the affairs and activities of the Bank; ensuring that the Bank’s financial regulation and central banking functions are coordinated and integrated; and ensuring that the statutory powers and functions conferred on the Bank are properly exercised and discharged. In addition, the Commission has adopted its own terms of reference, which sets out how it can best deliver on those responsibilities.
The Central Bank Act 1942 (as amended) provides that any of the statutory functions may be delegated by the Commission to the Governor, a Deputy Governor or an employee of the Bank. In the interests of the efficient and effective management of the Bank and the exercise of its powers and functions, the exercise of most of the Bank’s statutory functions and powers are delegated to the management members of the Commission. Where functions are so delegated, the responsibility and accountability for the performance of these functions lies with that management member. However, the Commission, often through its three committees (Audit Committee, Budget & Remuneration Committee, and Risk Committee), monitors and reviews the performance of management members in exercising these functions and powers and examines the Bank's internal controls. In addition, where operational matters are brought before the Commission for decision, the Commission ensures that the Bank is acting in an appropriate manner consistent with its statutory functions and powers.
The Commission engages with management members on issues of strategic importance to the Bank (other than ESCB functions) and advises, supports and constructively challenges them as appropriate. It also contributes to the formulation of a strategy to allow the Bank to achieve its statutory functions and it reviews the Bank's performance in relation to this strategy.
During 2011 and early 2012, the Commission carried out a review of its own effectiveness to ensure that the statutory powers and functions conferred on it are properly exercised and discharged and to measure the effectiveness of the Commission against its objectives. The findings and recommendations arising from the review were considered by the Commission in early 2012.
Code of Conduct for Members of the Central Bank Commission
The Code of Conduct for Members of the Central Bank Commission was approved at the Commission meeting in October 2012. It is effective from 1 January 2013.
Committees of the Commission
- Blanaid Clarke (Chair)
- John Fitzgerald
- Alan Ahearne
- Des Geraghty (Chair)
- Michael Soden
- Alan Ahearne
- Matthew Elderfield
- Stefan Gerlach
Budget and Remuneration Committee
- Michael Soden (Chair)
- Blanaid Clarke
- Stefan Gerlach
- Matthew Elderfield