Matt Carthy MEP: Ombudsman confirms finding of ECB maladministration
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has condemned the European Central Bank’s failure to comply with the recommendations made by EU Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly’s regarding ECB President Mario Draghi’s membership of the Group of 30 (G30) bankers’ organisation. Carthy was speaking as the Ombudsman released her final report on the matter today,Thursday, confirming the finding of maladministration.
In April, the ECB issued a response to the Ombudsman’s findings (published in January after a year-long investigation), which defended Mr Draghi’s membership of the G30 and dismissed the Ombudsman’s arguments that this amounted to a conflict of interest that caused public distrust in the ECB. Today’s announcement by the Ombudsman is her response to the ECB’s statement, and is the Ombudsman’s final word on the matter. Mr Draghi continues to be a full member of the G30, and other ECB members, including a member of its supervisory board, are associated with the G30.
Carthy, a member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, said: “I am appalled at the manner in which the ECB has dismissed the carefully reasoned findings of the Ombudsman, who found that the conflict of interest inherent in Mr Draghi’s membership of this elite bankers’ lobbying group was so serious that it amounted to maladministration by the ECB. Today’s announcement by the Ombudsman strongly reprimands the ECB for its refusal to address a glaring conflict of interest. She rejects the ECB’s arguments as unconvincing, reiterates her findings and confirms her recommendations.
“The ECB is now charged with directly supervising many of the financial institutions that are represented in the G30, including Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and many more. There is no system in place to ensure an ethically appropriate level of distance between the ECB decision-making and supervisory processes and their friends in the G30 bankers’ club. There is no way to ensure that the private bankers and finance CEOs of the G30 do not influence ECB policy.
“Mr Draghi’s membership of the G30 is beyond inappropriate. It adds yet another layer to the opaque decision-making process in the ECB, and it is clearly at odds with its supposed independence.
“The ECB appears to believe it is beyond the basic norms of public scrutiny, accountability and transparency. In fact, it is beyond any form of substantial scrutiny or control from the European Parliament or any other democratic institution, and it faces no consequences for its point-blank refusal to adopt the Ombudsman’s recommendations.
“The European Parliament needs to act to exert the utmost pressure on Mr Draghi and the ECB over its offensive rejection of the Ombudsman’s legitimate concerns, and to ensure that this major conflict of interest is brought to an end.” ENDS