Central Bank vacancies ‘concerning’

Turnover in senior roles at the Central Bank is a source for concern with vacancies in key roles unacceptably high, says Fianna Fáil spokesman for finance, Michael McGrath, writes Pádraig Hoare.

The claim followed the revelation by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe that there are six senior managerial roles vacant in the Central Bank.

There are also six senior manager roles within the watchdog that are currently filled on an acting basis, as of mid-January, according to the minister’s response to a parliamentary question regarding vacancies by Mr McGrath. Three of those vacancies arose because of personnel being transferred to other priority areas, the minister said.

Ongoing growth in the scale of the international finance sector, expanded regulation and inspection processes were some of the reasons why the Central Bank needed to recruit in recent years, the minister said. There were around 152 active roles being recruited within the Central Bank in November, with a recruitment time of more than eight weeks on average. There were 35 senior management roles filled in 2017.

Mr McGrath said: “The turnover of personnel at senior levels within the Central Bank is certainly a source of concern. It has been apparent for some time now that the Central Bank is finding it increasingly difficult to attract and retain people for the most senior roles in the organisation. The vacancy rate across key functions of the bank is unacceptably high.”

He said the Central Bank and other financial regulatory authorities were suffering from increasingly attractive roles in the private sector.

“The market for highly qualified and experienced people is buoyant across the financial services sector and this is undoubtedly having an impact on regulatory authorities including our Central Bank.

He called on the watchdog to raise the issue with Mr Donohoe if the vacancies were impacting its role.

“If the Central Bank has any concerns about the impact this issue is having on its ability to perform its functions, it needs to raise these with the Minister for Finance and offer up some suggested solutions,” Mr McGrath said.

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