30 April 2013
The Central Bank of Ireland today published its Annual Report 2012 and Annual Performance Statement Financial Regulation 2012 - 2013.
Opening remarks by Governor Patrick Honohan
The major focus for the Central Bank during 2012, and into 2013, has been the restoration of financial stability to the Irish economy. This has been, and remains, a significant challenge. However, despite the scale of this task and the backdrop of a weak external economic environment, the overall policy stance is moving things in the right direction.
The Bank’s efforts to contribute to this recovery during the past year are set out in detail in the Annual Report. This work included further reforms to the supervision of the repair of the domestic banking sector, the provision of necessary liquidity support, and the introduction of enhanced consumer protection measures. Two major elements of the Bank’s work during 2012 came to decisive junctures early this year – the liquidation of IBRC and related replacement of the promissory notes with marketable government bonds; and the introduction of an enhanced mortgage arrears resolution framework, which was announced in recent weeks.
All of these measures are ultimately concerned with creating the environment for sustainable economic growth and reduction in unemployment. Meanwhile, price stability is of course anchored by the policy of the Eurosystem.
During the year there was further considerable progress towards the delivery by Ireland on its commitments under the EU-IMF Programme. For our part the Bank met all of the various benchmarks for financial sector reform; while the government continued with its implementation of legislative and structural reforms. The continued adherence to the targets helped Ireland re-enter international capital markets and has increased the prospect of a successful exiting of the Programme at the end of this year. Full implementation of the government’s announced budgetary measures remains essential to preserve market confidence.
The Bank works to a publicly stated strategy. In 2012, we published a new three-year Strategic Plan which details the key strategic priorities over the coming years, all of which are closely aligned to the Bank’s statutory objectives. Based on this approach, the Bank will continue to work towards furthering the progress already made in restoring financial stability and supporting economic recovery.
Turning to our financial accounts, the Bank’s profit for the year to 31 December 2012 amounted to €1.4 billion. After retained earnings, surplus income of €1.1 billion will be paid over to the Exchequer.
Finally, I would draw your attention to the publication also today of the Annual Performance Statement for Financial Regulation, which is available, along with the Annual Report, on our website.