ANN CAHILL: EU probe appointment of McCreevy to bank board

FORMER Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy’s new career as a banker is being investigated by the European Commission to see if it is conflicts with his previous job in Brussels.

Mr McCreevy, known for his light touch regulation in relation to banking, has joined the board of NBNK Investments PLC.

Recently floated on the London Stock Exchange where they raised about €58 million they plan to set up a British high-street bank from branches sold mostly at the EU’s insistence due to competition rules.

These may include the 600 branches of Lloyds Banking Group and AIB’s British business bank, both of which Brussels has ordered be sold.

Mr McCreevy, who notified the European Commission of his new job, has been given 20,000 of the 50 million shares in the new banking venture and €61,000 a year as a non-executive director.

A spokesperson for the European Commission said Mr McCreevy notified them that he wanted to take up the new job and the details were being assessed by the commission’s ethical committee, who had not yet made a decision.

Labour MEP Nessa Childers said the role was a clear conflict of interest with his job as internal market commissioner when he liberalised the financial sector and all EU regulatory bodies reported to him.

Mr McCreevy has also become a Ryanair board member receiving €47,000 a year. He receives a transition allowance of 55% of his commission salary of about €20,300 a month for up to three years after leaving Brussels in February. He also gets a ministerial and TD pension of €127,000 a year.


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