March 31, 2017

Transparency International, in bank regulations there’s no transparency; there are too many unanswered questions

Sir, Mehreen Khan writes that in a report, carried out with the co-operation of ECB officials, Transparency International said the central bank’s “accountability framework is not appropriate for the far-reaching political decisions taken by the governing council”. “ECB executive questions role over banks” March 31.

Khan writes: “Yves Mersch, one of six executive board members, said the ECB’s new role as the Eurozone’s banking regulator, should be subject to greater scrutiny [especially since] “The Eurozone’s largest lenders are now subject to a watchdog called the single supervisory mechanism (SSM), established as an arm of the ECB”

The Chairman of the Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision (GHOS) of the Basel Committee for Banking Supervision (BCBS) is none other than Mario Draghi, the President of the European Central Bank (ECB). From 2009 till 2011 Draghi was the Chairman of the Financial Stability Board (FSB). In 2005 he was appointed Governor of the Bank of Italy and in April 2006 he was elected Chairman of the Financial Stability Forum, later FSB. In 1991 Draghi was named general director of the Italian Treasury, and held this office until 2001.During this time, he chaired the committee that revised Italian corporate and financial legislation and drafted the law that governs Italian financial markets. Between 2002 Draghi was vice chairman and managing director of Goldman Sachs International and a member of the firm-wide management committee (2002–2005).

In this respect few would seem to have to know so much about current bank regulations as Mario Draghi. So one could presume he should be able to answer some very simple questions… unless of course he has no answers…

In the name of any basic transparency, should Mario Draghi not answer these, at least by email? 

Sir, I know you think of me as obsessive on this issue. I am, the distortions in credit allocation produced by the regulators are no laughing matter. But in this respect you are, just as obsessively, avoiding your own responsibility to convey to authorities questions from your readers.