Systemic risks building up in bank sector not identified - ReportFriday 22 January 2016 22.51
The banking inquiry has found that both the Financial Regulator and Central Bank had sufficient powers to intervene in the banking sector to protect the financial stability of the State, but neither intervened decisively.
In its final report, RTÉ News understands that the Committee of Inquiry into the Banking Crisis says the Financial Regulator also failed to identify the systemic risks building up in the banking sector.
The banking inquiry has come down hard against the regulator and the Central Bank.
The regulator did not take enforcement action between 2000 and 2008 against the banks even when breaches were found.
And there were no consequences for banks that breached sectoral limits.
State institutions subscribed to the soft landing theory but there was no evidence that the theory was ever robustly tested or validated.
The European Central Bank position on burden-sharing in both November 2010 and March 2011 contributed to the inappropriate placing of bank debts onto the Irish people.
In March 2011, ECB chief Jean-Claude Trichet told Minister for Finance Michael Noonan that "a bomb would go off in Dublin" for the financial services industry in Ireland if burden-sharing took place.
Had Mr Noonan proceeded with his burden-sharing plan, the NTMA estimated that €9.1bn could have been saved.
On the banks, the inquiry said institutions moved very far from prudent lending practices in relation to property developers, even entering joint ventures in some cases.
The banking inquiry also found that government finances were vulnerable to a downturn because of an over-reliance on pro-cyclical taxes.
However, all political parties advocated pro-cyclical policies which demanded the reduction of taxes and increased expenditure.
The idea of the bank guarantee was not just thought up on the night, it appears as an option in documents going back to January 2008.
No minutes were kept by the Department of the Taoiseach of the discussions on the night of the guarantee decision.
The government was advised by both the Central Bank and the Financial Regulator that all six banks were solvent on the night of the guarantee.
Mr Trichet made clear that no bank could be allowed to fail, but there was no Euro-area support from the ECB to help achieve that.
On the property sector, valuations were not carried out in all cases even for some large developments.
The Committee recommends the establishment of a detailed and comprehensive commercial property price register.
Committee member and Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath said he would not be commenting on the contents of what has been leaked from the final report and would wait until it is published next week.
In a statement to RTÉ News, the Central Bank said that it is awaiting the publication of the final report and is unable to comment on today's reports.
It said that it "engaged positively and co-operated fully" with the banking inquiry.
Meanwhile, Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins said RTÉ's coverage of the inquiry's report ahead of its official publication carries "the hallmark of some supporters of the report attempting to shape a narrative around the findings they would prefer to have highlighted".
Mr Higgins said that as a member of Joint Committee who declined to sign the final draft, he was "prohibited from revealing any detailed content of the draft".
He added he will publish his analysis of the report next week.