MEP Matt Carthy has welcomed recommendations from EU Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly regarding ECB President Mario Draghi’s links to the G30 bankers’ organisation, of which he is a full member. Other ECB members, including a member of its supervisory board, are also associated with the G30.
At the conclusion of this year-long report into the conflict of interest implications of the ECB’s links to the G30, the Ombudsman found that Mr Draghi’s membership of the G30 constitutes maladministration by the ECB, which can only be remedied by his suspension of this membership. The Ombudsman also calls for all ECB decision-makers should be precluded from joining the G30, among other recommendations.
The G30 group includes top private and public bankers and leaders of some of the world’s largest financial institutions, and the Ombudsman’s investigation, which began in January 2017, was prompted by a complaint by the Corporate Europe Observatory in 2016.
Carthy, a member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, said:
“The final report from the Ombudsman on this issue confirms that a serious conflict of interest has arisen as a result of ECB President Mario Draghi’s membership of the G30, an elite bankers’ lobbying group. This conflict of interest is so serious that the Ombudsman finds it amounts to maladministration by the ECB.
“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.
“The ECB is charged with monetary policy and its quantitative easing policy and other initiatives it has taken in response to the financial crisis have often benefited private banks. There is no way to ensure that the private bankers and finance CEOs of the G30 do not influence ECB policy.
“When the G30 speaks about the global economy and public policy on banking and finance, it speaks with one voice. So we have the ECB being directly associated with policy recommendations shaped by private bankers and finance giants.
“There is no way to ensure that the ECB members involved in the G30 do not provide confidential information on future policy decisions, for example, to private bankers in the G30 club.”
“The membership of ECB figures in the G30 is beyond inappropriate. It adds yet another layer to the total lack of accountability and transparency in the ECB, and it is clearly at odds with the supposed independence of the ECB.
“I strongly welcome the Ombudsman’s recommendations for the severing of these problematic ties, which will only be a first step in improving transparency and accountability over the ECB.”